Emulsifier combination backed for ‘optimal’ eggless cake

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A combination of emulsifiers and whey protein concentrate could be used to totally replace egg in cake products, suggest researchers.

The Iranian research team set out to optimise the production of a completely eggless cake using whey protein concentrate and a combination of emulsifiers at varying levels.

Writing in the Journal of Food Science and Technology, they reported that a combination of whey protein plus three emulsifiers – polyglycerol ester (PGE), distilled mono glyceride (DMG) and lecithin – could effectively replace egg.

“Generally, total replacement of egg by different replacers does not create good quality cake; therefore, the combination of PGE, DMG, and lecithin can produce an eggless cake containing WPC with a high quality that is acceptable for consumers,” wrote the team, led by Mohammad Khalilian Movahhed from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in Iran. 

Indeed, Khalilian Movahhed and colleagues noted that the combination of different emulsifiers synergistically improved their respective functional properties – resulting in an eggless cake that had good properties and consumer acceptance.

“The emulsifiers increased the volume, porosity and the sensory total acceptance, and decreased the moisture content, water activity, hardness and gumminess of the eggless cakes,” they said.

Egg replacement

The team noted that egg protein is generally seen as essential in bakery products because the protein has a great influence on the structure of its batter – which influences the end appearance and texture.

However, some parts of the food industry are looking to replace egg from products – owing to its high cholesterol levels, high price, and link to certain dietary issues, the authors of the study said.

“Furthermore, vegans, vegetarians and egg allergy consumers are not willing to use eggs,” they added.

While the new study may not be ideal for vegans and due to the use of whey protein, the team suggested that the results of the study suggest that the combination of emulsifiers could potentially work with other protein sources.

Optimisation study

Khalilian Movahhed and colleagues used three emulsifiers – polyglycerol ester (PGE), distilled mono glyceride (DMG) and lecithin – to bake eggless cakes containing 8% whey protein concentrate.

Using response surface analysis the team studied the effect of emulsifiers on the eggless cake properties – finding that the emulsifiers both individually and interactively improved the properties.

“All emulsifiers increased the porosity and volume of the eggless cakes, but decreased the hardness and gumminess of crumb and improved the sensory acceptance,” they said – adding that PGE and DMG were found to decrease batter density, while lecithin increased it.

“The results showed that the levels of different emulsifiers to achieve the optimum quality of the eggless cake constituted of 0.5% PGE, 0.25% DMG and 0.5% lecithin.”

Source: Journal of Food Science and Technology

Pages 1–10, doi: 10.1007/s13197-016-2373-y

“The effect of different emulsifiers on the eggless cake properties containing WPC”
Authors: Mohammad Khalilian Movahhed, et al


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