How Eggs Work in Bakery Production

Eggstraordinary Aeration

Aeration is a critical function in the formulation of baked goods and other foods. Here are some important considerations in the formulation of baked goods.

  • Aeration refers to the process of introducing a gas, such as air, into a liquid or viscous solution.
  • Beaten eggs contribute volume and lighter texture to baked goods such as sponge cake.
  • The aeration achieved in lighter textured foods can be attributed to eggs, specifically whole eggs and egg whites.
  • When air is incorporated into a food, a foam forms, which is basically entrapped air bubbles. That foam influences the height and density of a food.
  • Egg whites can be whipped to produce a foam that is six to eight times greater in volume.
  • When whole eggs are whipped and used to aerate baked goods, the process is more accurately referred to as leavening.

There are four potential sources of air for egg products to entrap, and thus add volume to baked goods.

  1. Air is incorporated into the batter during mixing.
  2. The addition of beaten whole egg.
  3. Added baking powder and baking soda produce gas in the batter.
  4. The heat causes the liquid in the batter to turn to steam.

Baking Applications for Eggs

Industry Product Usage Functional Rationale
Frostings Thickens frostings and fillings Coagulates and creates firm, smooth base
Breads Standard breads and buns Used as an egg wash to brown the crust and for flavor and structure in specialty breads and rolls
Sweet Goods Egg custard fillings and tarts Gels filling and adds color and richness to mass; excellent emulsifier
Cakes Cakes of all sorts Aeration adds volume, height, and builds ingredients into product matrix; provides structure
Cookies & Specialty Items Meringues and other items where lighter texture is required Allows for aeration of baked goods; provides structural benefits
Muffins & Popovers Unique pastry effect obtainable only through use of eggs Binds and produces desirable texture and mouthfeel; aeration builds volume
Frozen Products Frozen dough and other items to control crystallization Creates desirable characteristics in reheating and baking
Healthy Snack Bars Protein-rich meal replacement bar One of the highest-quality protein sources available


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