Cutting the cost of cake-making by removing the use of eggs may be achievable by combining a hydrocolloid with a suitable emulsifier, says new research from India.
The combination of hydroxypropylmethylcellulose (HPMC) and sodium stearoyl-2-lactylate (SSL) produced egg-less cakes with acceptable qualities, according to findings published in Food Hydrocolloids.
Soaring prices for grains such as soy and corn - that have seen feed costs leap by 30 per cent in twelve months - have hit egg prices particularly hard because the cost of feed is a large slice of overall costs when compared to other livestock such as beef cattle.
And while bakers have been obliged to absorb the rising price for ingredients sourced from eggs, or to pass the rise in costs onto their customers, ingredients makers are reporting a growing demand from bakers for egg replacers that could help simmer down costs.
From salted yolk preparations to pasteurised egg-based atomisers for golden glazes on pastry, ingredients from eggs are used widely in baked goods like cakes and biscuits.
But replacing this natural ingredient that boasts appealing functionalities as well as a range of nutrients including protein, essential vitamins A, D, E, and B as well as minerals iron, phosphorus and zinc, is a major challenge for food developers.
“This makes it extremely difficult to replace eggs successfully by a different source of proteins, even by the use of several types of additives, such as hydrocolloids, in cakes,” said the researchers from India’s Central Food Technological Research Institute in Mysor.
The new study indicated that the HPMC-SSL combination produced the best results for an eggless cake. The Mysore-based researchers tested a series of hydrocolloids, including gum arabic, guar gum, xanthan gum, and carrageenan, in combination with either glycerol monostearate (GMS) or SSL as the emulsifier.
Of all the different hydrocolloids tested, the researchers report that “only HPMC improved the eggless cake making characteristics of wheat flour”. Indeed, they add that HPMC improved the overall quality score of eggless cake when GMS was used as the emulsifier, compared to the other hydrocolloids. On the other hand, use of SSL as the emulsifier improved the quality of cake with all the hydrocolloids, with HPMC performing the best.
Studies of the microstructure of the eggless cake crumb showed that HPMC and SSL produced a more uniform protein matrix.
“It could be concluded that the various results presented in this paper have shown that good quality eggless cake can be prepared using HPMC and SSL,” wrote the researchers.
Source: Food Hydrocolloids
Volume 23, Issue 3, Pages 700-707
“Effect of hydrocolloids and emulsifiers on the rheological, microstructural and quality characteristics of eggless cake”
Authors: A. Ashwini, R. Jyotsna, D. Indrani