Ulrick & Short have launched a new, clean-label bakery ingredient aimed at replacing the functionality of egg whites in meringues. The UK plant-based bakery sector is currently experiencing a period of rapid growth, with product launches featuring a ‘vegan’ or ‘plant-based’ claim growing 28% year on year. A combination of that and European egg prices skyrocketing by 69% in the last year because of avian flu has meant producers have been seeking out egg alternatives.
The new ingredient, known as ovaproxTM 14, is a functional egg replacer for various sweet bakery applications – most notably, meringues. ovaprox 14 has been specifically designed to behave similarly to egg whites in meringue – aerating when whisked to create a stable foam, providing a good internal structure and a crisp eat throughout shelf life similar to conventional, egg-based meringue recipes.
Additionally, the ingredient is a functional egg alternative in other sweet baked goods such as muffins and sponges. It provides not only volume rise within the product but a good and consistent crumb structure. As well as being plant-based, ovaprox is clean label, using natural functionality from its crop bases.
“The challenge in replicating the function of egg in a meringue lies in the fact that egg white proteins can be denatured quite easily, simply by using mechanical force such as a whisk,” explained Tom Bull, NPD Technologist and Developer of ovaprox 14, Ulrick & Short. “By whisking and thus unfolding the protein, you expose the long chain of amino acids that makes up a protein. The unfolded protein chain arranges itself in such a way the proteins lie on the interface between water and air, stabilising air bubbles within the water & providing the stable foam needed for a meringue.”
“ovaprox 14was designed with this specific development challenge in mind – we’ve managed to create a genuine plant-based alternative using our clean-label proteins. It produces a stable foam when whisked, and very closely replicates the structure, bite, and mouthfeel of egg-based meringues. Indulgent plant-based bakery is growing, and we’re confident this new ingredient will move the sector on even further,” he added.
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