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Dried egg whites or powdered egg whites are egg whites that have had the liquid removed from them, and are thus easy to store, and great for any situation where you can’t transport fresh eggs. They’re usually reconstituted with a bit of water, and make for a great food for campers or backpackers, since they can be carried with ease, and then used for cooking when needed. Many, but not all, varieties of dried egg whites are pasteurized, which means they don’t have the same concerns of possible salmonella infection as do fresh eggs. This makes them excellent for recipes that call for the use of raw eggs.
You’ll often see dried eggs or whites used in baking mixes. They’re particularly common in box mixes for angel food cake. Unlike fresh whole eggs, they tend to foam up more quickly, resulting in a lighter and fluffier cake. Even when bakers like to bake from scratch, they may prefer dried egg whites to fresh eggs because they are easier to work with. Some people prefer not to cook with them, as many brands do contain stabilizers, like sodium lauryth sulfate or preservatives that purists feel affects the end taste of baked goods.
On the other hand, pasteurized dried egg whites can have multiple uses, aside from just baking or for camping. You can add a couple of teaspoons of powdered egg whites to smoothies for an extra protein boost. Even though the eggs are pasteurized, some recommend not using powdered eggs or whites in uncooked form when you are preparing food for children, pregnant women or the elderly. There is a slight risk of salmonella poisoning that should be weighed. For instance, if you make your own infant formula, you should not use this product.
In addition to providing consistent results and whipping egg whites into meringue with greater ease, you have the advantage with this product of having very little clean up. Instead of cracking and separating yolk from egg, you merely use the recommended amount of powder, reconstituted with liquid, to substitute for the eggs you need in a recipe. Many like this added convenience and the no muss, no fuss aspect of dried egg whites.
In particular, with more people being asked to eat lower cholesterol products, recipes for egg dishes utilizing only egg whites have been developed. Some people find all that cracking and separating hard work, and in addition, you end up throwing out half of your fresh egg. This has made dried egg whites more popular, and their companion, pasteurized fresh egg whites, can be found in the refrigerator section of your grocery store.
@Terrificli -- I have not heard of anyone using powdered egg whites to scramble up an omelet or something like that, either. I have never thought about trying that because separating the yoke from an egg isn't that hard.
It might be worth trying, though, because it seems a shame to waste egg yolks whenever using a recipe that calls for egg whites. You avoid that waste with dried egg whites.
And you just know that someone out there has used dried egg whites for an omelet or something. I do wonder how that would taste...
I appreciate how this article points out that people have probably used dried egg whites without even knowing it. Good job, too, and pointing out how dried egg whites are often used as a background ingredient (such as an agent for fluffing and such) rather than a featured ingredient.
Here's the thing about that. Powdered eggs are, well, often horrible. If you have an egg white omelet made with dried egg whites, you will notice a very different flavor. Dried egg whites are great as an addition to food rather than the featured flavor.
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