In past blogs, I have been critical of the egg industry and the little effort behind creating and developing new egg products. I’ve also claimed that eggs are a very versatile product that can be combined with many ingredients and prepared in a thousand ways, but we never go beyond mixing them with familiar ingredients. There is a need in the egg industry for the collaboration of chefs, food technologists, nutritionists and marketing experts to work together in order to boost consumption.
There are truly great egg products already available; liquid eggs, whites and yolks sold separately, and some others. But, what else?
To add product value, it needs to start somewhere in the chain. Whether hens are fed with flaxseed to add omega-3 to eggs or the product creativity of the industry needs to go beyond the usual Spanish omelet: egg with potatoes. To add value, we need to start with research.
In celebration of World Egg Day last week, the Spanish Egg Studies Institute in Madrid, Spain, presented the amazing advances in egg industrialization in that country. These advances vastly range from using different protein fractions to produce custards, cheese spreads, healthy snacks, energy drinks and meringues, to biodegradable plastics that can be used to pack single dose detergent packets for dishwashers and washing machines, and even uses in tissue engineering for implants — all truly great ideas. Although still far from perfection, these researchers demonstrated some very smart and innovative ideas in product development.
It begs the question, if the corn industry managed to diversify into the production of ethanol — to the extent that it has influenced the price of this grain for years now — why not take egg production to the next level beyond making simple omelets and into the production of high protein cheese spreads, healthy snacks or even plastics?