Pulses, already known as plant protein sources, also may play roles as companies reduce egg use in applications to save costs, according to a July 22 webinar sponsored by Ingredion, Inc. and hosted by Baking & Snack, a Sosland Publishing Co. brand.

The webinar focused on how proteins, hydrocolloids and starches may combine to replace eggs and still keep the necessary emulsification, aeration, volume, structure and color in baked foods.

Protein sources such as milk/whey protein concentrate, soy and pulse flours/proteins may add emulsification, structure and color. Pulses such as lentils, chickpeas, dried peas and dried beans are non-bioengineered and non-allergen, said Matthew Yurgec, principal technologist, bakery applications for Ingredion, Inc., Westchester, Ill. Their protein content ranges from 23.7% to 26.3%. They provide foam stability and foam expansion while having a low oil absorption capacity.

Ingredion incorporated its Precisa Bake 100 texture system and Homecraft Pulse 3130 flour into a yellow cake formulation. The ingredients delivered volume and led to a less sticky mouthfeel while egg use was reduced by 50%, according to the company. Mr. Yurgec said formulators should keep track of the level of pulse flour or pulse protein used. Too high a level may lead to off-flavor or color issues.

Replacing eggs with one ingredient is challenging, and it generally requires several ingredients, Mr. Yurgec said. Hydrocolloids have various functionalities, including hot-gelling, emulsification and bake stability/structure, that depend on the type of hydrocolloid. Starches have been shown to provide batter viscosity, improve crumb structure and provide emulsification.

Egg prices have risen this year as avian influenza in the United States has killed more than 48 million birds, including chickens and turkeys. Grade A large eggs were selling for $1.82 to $1.95 per dozen delivered on July 17, which compared with $1.22 per dozen a year ago. Whole dried egg products were selling for $10.25 to $10.75 per pound, f.o.b. plant, on July 17, which compared with $4 per pound a year ago.