Functions of Eggs in Baking


Eggs play an important role in our baked goods. Eggs add structure, leavening, colour, and flavour to our cakes and cookies. It’s the balance between eggs and flour that help provide the height and texture of many of the baked goods. 


Eggs not only play an important role in the structure of various baked goods, they add taste, flavour and colour to fillings and toppings.

Egg nutrition

The hen’s egg contains protein, fats, water and various vitamins and minerals but no carbohydrates or sugar. The albumen makes up more about 60% of the egg’s weight. It contains water, some nutrients and more protein than the yolk.

While the yolk does contain fat and cholesterol, it also contains most of the beneficial vitamins and minerals found in eggs. Ten times more iron and vitamin B12 is found in the yolk. The emulsifying properties of eggs come from lecithin, a phospholipid, found only in the yolk. It contributes to the creamy and fine texture eggs add to baked products.

In addition to the 9 essential amino acids ( essential proteins that the body cannot create itself ), there are another 9 amino acids in eggs.

The egg yolk is one of the few foods that contain Vitamin D, which is good for the immune system.

Functions of eggs in baked products

Eggs are an important structural ingredient in many baked goods. Just as a fried or boiled egg becomes firm as it cooks, the same reaction in the baking process provides structure to cakes, custards and many other baked goods. Eggs also provide additional nutritional benefits for products, most importantly, extra protein.


Leavening and binding

Beating or whisking eggs produces foam. The foam is then incorporated into the batter and adds air bubbles, allowing the eggs to act as a leavening agent. When exposed to heat, the air bubbles expand and the cake rises. Whipped egg whites folded into a batter create light and fluffy baked goods, with a good texture and smoother mouth feel.


Eggs are also good at binding ingredients together. In pancakes, doughs, pastries, muffins waffles, cookie mixes and cakes, whole eggs are used as a binder, creating a better textured final product. Eggs give body and softness to bread products, helping to reduce moisture loss and balance pH.

Thickening and stabilising

Whole eggs are often used in recipes as a thickening agent. Coagulation of the egg proteins in both the yolk and the albumen result in thickening as the egg changes from a fluid to solid or semi-solid state.

Eggs can also be used to stabilise frozen products and improve their texture by controlling crystallisation during reheating. This helps to prevent the product from becoming soggy at the end of the thaw cycle. Egg white contains proteins which prevent sugar crystallisation. This creates a smoother finished product when used in confectionary items like icing, chocolate and even some types of ice-cream.

Toppings and fillings

Eggs are used in many fillings and toppings as an emulsifier or thickener. Egg whites may be whipped to form a thick foam for a meringue topping or to aerate and lighten a batter by folding the beaten egg whites into the mixture.

Eggs yolks are added to tarts, custard fillings, yellow cakes, biscuits and some speciality pastries to give colour to the batter.


Flavour and colouring

Egg yolks add flavour and richness to the batter, carrying their own flavours and enhancing the flavours of other ingredients used in the mix. The colour of the batter is also more appealing when eggs are added.



Whole eggs or egg yolks mixed with a little milk are brushed onto the surface of breads, pies, biscuits and other products to produce an attractive golden colour and shine during the baking process. An egg wash also allows seeds or other toppings to adhere to speciality rolls or breads.

Egg products

Egg products are commonly used in the foodservice industry in place of shell eggs. They are convenient to use, cutting down on food preparation times as well as providing a good standard of food safety. All liquid, frozen and dried egg products are pasteurised.

Liquid A quick and easy refrigerated product which can be used in place of shell eggs in a myriad of different products including desserts, quiches and meringues. Liquid egg products are available as blended whole eggs, egg whites or egg yolks. Products may be salted or sugared and should be selected according to the required application. Ultra-pasteurised liquid eggs products have a very long shelf life.

Frozen Whole eggs, whites or yolks, either separate or blended with other ingredients may be frozen to extend the shelf life of the product. Products may contain sugar or salt, usually added to prevent gelation during the thawing process.

Dried A product which is convenient to use and easy to store. Dried egg powder can be used in place of shell eggs in different products including desserts, various dressings and some baked goods. Products available may be whole egg solids, egg white solids or powder blends with sugar or corn syrup. Anti-caking agents may be added to prevent solidification. Products have a shelf life of over a year without refrigeration required.


Nulaid eggs:

Nulaid is an integrated egg business in South Africa with our own breeding farms, hatcheries, rearing farms and laying farms. We supply customers across all market segments with quality commercial table eggs, Free range eggs, pasteurized shell eggs and pasteurized liquid egg products.


Nulaid also operates six egg grading plants and two liquid egg processing plants where we produce pasteurized whole egg, pasteurized albumen and pasteurized yolk.

The eggs for these pack stations and egg processing plants are produced on our own farms as well as contracted farms.

Our egg grading plants are situated in Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Durban, East-London, Bloemfontein and Muldersdrift. From these pack stations we supply all sizes of eggs, from pullets to jumbos. We deliver in various pack sizes as per our customer requirements across all market segments and in all the provinces. We proud ourselves on our customer service delivery and that our products are always of the highest quality and freshness.

Our graded product range consists of all sizes of eggs from medium to jumbo and we currently grade eggs into the following pack sizes: 2×6 eggs, 18 eggs, 24 eggs, 30 eggs, 48 eggs and 60 eggs.

One of our main strengths is that our pack stations are audited by SAFSIS on a yearly basis and we make sure that we comply with the criteria of these audits. Passing these audits mean that our customers are assured of the best products, and that they are graded and packed in the correct manner.

The two liquid plants are situated near Cape Town and Johannesburg from where we distribute directly to our industrial customers that use the liquid egg in further processing. In these plants quality and food safety audits are undertaken as well to ensure safe and quality products are produced.

Nulaid has received an award for “Icon Brand” status in 2013 and 2014 and has been awarded the best egg brand for the last 11 years in South Africa, as per research done by Ask Africa.

To find out more about Nulaid you can visit our website at or contact our call centre at 0861NULAID.



Sunspray Food Ingredients

Sunspray Food Ingredients (Pty ) Ltd (“Sunspray”) is a well-established local independent spray drying company with two manufacturing sites – Industria in JHB and Bronkhorstspruit in Mpumalanga.



The core technology used to produce high quality ingredients is spray drying and there are currently eight spray driers across the two sites- each with unique processing capabilities to manage a wide range of drying parameters for ingredients.

An additional small pilot plant spray drier is used for development work and to establish feasibility of products before upscaling to commercial towers – this is an extremely beneficial aspect for the R&D department and provides insights into functionality and quality parameters before commercialization.

The benefits of spray drying as a drying mechanism for food ingredients is superior to other forms of drying in that it facilitates opportunities to emulsify ingredients with functional properties as well as eliminate duplicate ingredients in formulas and removing cost.

A dairy standard tower is currently under construction on the Industria site and will deliver a superior standard of functional dairy-based ingredients. This will be the tenth tower available to service demand for the SA market as well as for exports.

The Bronkhorstspruit facility has a liquid egg pasteurizing plant as well as two spray driers. The liquid egg is supplied to the food industry daily for applications in baking and sauce/ dressing application. The pasteurized egg liquid eliminates the microbiological risk associated with breaking eggs and production related concerns for food safety.

Sunspray offers a professional service in all areas of the business to ensure a superior customer experience with mutual benefits and customers can make use of Sunspray’s R&D services to benefit from customized solutions for all applications.

As the largest independent spray drying company servicing a broad spectrum of industries customers can be assured of confidentiality in all business transactions and protection of intellectual property developed is paramount.

For more info click here ……….


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