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Powdered eggs are eggs that have been dehydrated and made into a simple powder, with a texture similar to that of powdered milk. While some brands use the whole egg, others only include the yolks or the whites, and may add other ingredients to enhance the flavor or the texture of the reconstituted eggs. Generally, it is possible to purchase powdered eggs in bulk, making them ideal for use in preparing a number of mass-produced frozen foods as well as use in restaurants.
These dehydrated eggs have several advantages over fresh eggs. First, powdered eggs have a longer shelf life. With proper storage, dried eggs can easily last for the better part of a decade. It is not necessary to store the eggs in a refrigerated area; all that is required is a cool to moderate temperature and a dark cabinet or cupboard.
Eggs that have been dried require much less storage space, so substantial supplies can be kept on hand in a relatively small space. Re-hydrating the eggs requires nothing other than the addition of a liquid, usually water or milk. In powdered form, the eggs can be added to baked recipes without the need to mix them with a liquid ahead of time. These eggs are generally fairly cheap too. A pound (0.45 kg) of dehydrated eggs is significantly cheaper than purchasing an equivalent number of fresh eggs. This makes them very cost effective for food producers as well as restaurants, which often use them for buffet-style dishes and baked goods.
Powdered eggs are packaged in several different ways. Whole eggs may be dehydrated and later used in many recipes where whole eggs are needed. It is also possible to purchase powdered yolks as well as whole eggs. For use in recipes where the whites are all that is used, such as in meringues, packages of powdered whites are available, although there is some difference of opinion as to how well the whites work and taste when used in some recipes.
Despite their advantages, some people have raised concerns over the level of oxidized cholesterol in powdered eggs. Some studies show that oxidized cholesterol is particularly hard on the arteries, and it may be able to cause other cholesterol molecules to oxidize as well. Since most people generally only encounter small amount of powdered eggs, like those used in processed baked goods, it is not usually a serious health concern. Some people do choose to avoid consuming them, however, to be on the safe side.
The production of powdered eggs is usually traced back to the first half of the 20th century. The eggs were extensively used during World War II, especially in countries where food supplies were airlifted in to feed civilians displaced by occupations and bombings. In the United States, they were often used as a substitute for fresh eggs during periods of rationing, allowing fresh eggs to be routed to provide nutrition to people serving in the military. Even with first call on fresh eggs, many branches of the military also used powdered versions as a matter of expediency.
BrickBack - You know I really like the egg substitutes. I buy Eggbeaters all of the time and I throw in some vegetables and make a healthy omelet that is filling as well.
I also use Eggbeaters in recipes that call for eggs. This way I still get the rich egg flavor without all of the cholesterol and calories. You really get used to the taste after a while.
I did not know that restaurants used powdered eggs but it makes sense since the powdered eggs shelf life is a lot longer than traditional eggs.
I am sure restaurants buy in bulk when buying powdered eggs because it is cheaper. Also I know that the calories in powered eggs is lower as well which will appeal to more customers.
For example, a serving of powered eggs has about 45 calories while a traditional egg has about 85 calories.
Also powdered eggs only have a cholesterol rating of 55 mg while a regular egg has cholesterol rating of over 200 mg. If you have problems with your cholesterol, the powdered eggs, or even dried egg whites would be better.