Ulrick & Short launches new egg replacer for meringues

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Ulrick & Short has launched a new clean-label ingredient aimed at replacing the functionality of egg whites in meringues.

The UK plant-based bakery sector is going through a period of rapid growth, with product launches featuring a “vegan” or “plant-based” claim, growing 28.55% year on year.  Meanwhile, according to the European Egg Processor Association, European egg prices have skyrocketed 69.3% in 12 months because of an avian flu outbreak & rising energy & feed costs.

The new ingredient, called ovaproxTM 14, is a complete functional egg replacer for various sweet-bakery applications – most notably in meringues. ovaprox 14 has been specifically designed to behave very similar to egg white in a meringue application – it aerates when whisked to create a stable foam, ultimately providing a good internal structure, and a crisp eat throughout shelf life similar to conventional egg-based meringue recipes.

Additionally, ovaprox 14 is a functional egg alternative in other sweet baked goods, such as muffins and sponges. It provides not just the volume rise within the product, but also a good and consistent crumb structure. As well as being plant-based, ovaprox 14 is clean-label, using only the natural functionality from its crop bases and, therefore, having a transparent and consumer friendly back-of-pack declaration.

“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,” said Tom Bull, Ulrick & Short NPD Technologist & developer of ovaprox 14. “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 and providing the stable foam needed for a meringue.

“ovaprox 14 was 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.”

To find out more about ovaprox 14 and the science behind egg reduction, sign up to Ulrick & Short’s webinar discussing the functionality of eggs and how to successfully replace them.