IFT 2018: Egg protein is most relevant for the everyday, active consumer, says Rembrandt Foods

By Mary Ellen Shoup

- Last updated on GMT


Related tags Rembrandt Foods Eggs Egg white protein

Egg protein drinks may conjure up images of an unappetizing mixture of blended raw eggs consumed by diehard athletes during early morning workouts. But egg ingredients supplier and formulation expert Rembrandt Foods is turning this stereotype on its head with its egg white isolate.

Rembrandt Foods has commercialized the patent-pending RemPro 8090 egg white isolate in limited quantities and is preparing for larger scale commercialization this year.

“I think where eggs are really relevant are for the everyday, active nutrition lifestyle,” ​Rembrandt Foods’ applications scientist, Edel Summers, told FoodNavigator-USA.

The egg supplier highlighted various beverage product concepts using the RemPro 8090 at the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) annual meeting and expo in Chicago last week including a typical protein workout beverage and a translucent, fruit-flavored protein water.

“Even though we’re just showing in beverages at this show, it can be used in protein bars, in can be used in baking… The applications is just not limited to beverages,”​ Summers said.

RemPro 8090 provides over 90% egg white protein on a dry basis for easy formulation into sports beverages, protein-fortified beverages, bars, snacks, and baked goods.

Summers added that while at IFT, the company has received many more requests for keto-friendly formulations that have a substantial fat content and protein source.

The company’s normal egg white process goes through reverse osmosis to concentrate the egg white before it’s dried. However, for the egg white isolate, Rembrandt Foods uses an ultra filtration process that removes the water content and minimizes the ‘eggy’ flavor by removing some of sodium and sulfur components of the egg.

“We’re not adding any chemicals or any enzymes, we’re not deviating from a clean process,” ​Summers said.

Competition from other protein sources

“We’ve always been in competition with many of the other proteins out there whether it be whey, soy, or meat products,”​ Chow said.

“What people are looking for right now are high quality and sustainable proteins and that’s the main reason we’re seeing the vegetable and the plant proteins come up.”

And Rembrandt Foods has a strong sustainability story to tell as well, Chow claimed.

According to the company, its vertically integrated business model allows for sustainable egg production. Rembrandt Foods purchases local day-old baby chicks – that develop into hens at the company’s facilities – and raises them to their specifications feeding the chicks grain made from their own feed mill. The company performs on-site, same-day egg breaking at its facilities, and pasteurizes and processes the eggs within hours.

All byproducts are then returned as fertilizer to the farmers to enrich the land for the following year.

“When you look at the spectrum of proteins, eggs are very high on the sustainability scale,” ​Chow said.

Nutritionally speaking, eggs contain all nine of the essential amino acids providing sustained energy and absorption. Eggs are also known to have a high biological value (BV), protein efficiency ratio (PER), net protein utilization (NPU), and protein digestibility corrected amino acid score (PDCAAS), according to Rembrandt Foods.

“It helps sustain you longer than whey protein,”​ Edel Summers said. “Whey protein gives you that spike in energy which is why athletes rely on it, but the egg protein is going sustain you a lot longer.”

But Summers also pointed to the benefit of protein blends to meet the specific needs of the consumer.

“A blend of egg and whey is probably going to be an optimal blend for your hardcore athlete because you do get that spike and then you get that sustained energy from the egg white protein.”

Re-educating consumers

The egg industry has been hit hard in the past by food safety concerns and recalls linked to the outbreak of avian influenza that saw the price of eggs increase and consumers’ trust decline.

“During avian influenza, part of the reason it had become such a huge story is because people had depended on eggs being a very affordable source of protein,”​ Rembrandt Foods’ director of portfolio management, Vivian Chow, said.

“The egg industry is now in a good place and people are recognizing the benefits of the egg, the benefits of the protein, and they’re looking for what’s next.

“It does require some education because there’s so much messaging now about protein that consumers are getting very confused about what’s the best protein.”

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