Hens eggs are an original convenience food for human
consumers, and they seem to be an almost irreplaceable ingredient,
as the white or yolk or both, in cooking and in manufactured
commodities. However, there are alternatives and replacers.
Much of the egg white (albumen) used in manufactured commodities
it seems almost as widely used as gelatin derives
from seconds, many of which eggs are imported,
more in the spirit of free trade than free range.
However, recent events have dealt the egg industry severe
blows. Consumption of shell eggs in the UK has been falling
over the last decade and only beginning to respond to efforts
by the trade at rescue. Changes to other convenience foods
have introduced new competition, and the industrys plight
is illustrated by the need of prime TV time for Delia Smith
to instruct the nation on the boiling of the egg.
Customers seeking replacements have aversions of various
types. Vegans and earnest vegetarians cant brook the
conditions inflicted on the avian egg-laying machines and
are not duped by the (very) free-ranging assurances that persist
on labels purporting to represent farm-fresh, freedom, and
organic produce on sale in the shops and markets. Other customers
have an intolerance to eggs and their derivatives that denotes
what might be nearer to a rejection defined as a gut feeling.
Purchasers will have new names to choose from free
roaming and freeganic premium and superpremium, for example
(the latter not claiming to be organic), from suppliers introducing
a new vegetarian sandwich filling in an easy-to-handle introduction
for serving at coffee bars.
Hospitals cater for patients who require egg-free diets.
Rite Diet egg-white replacer is a cellulose (carbohydrate)
derivative (E465), suitable for gluten-free, wheat-free,
lactose-free, egg-free, and soya-free diets. It doesnt
come cost-free, but can be ordered through any pharmacy from
SHS International Limited, 100 Wavertree Boulevard, Liverpool,
L7 9PT (Phone 0151.228.8161; Fax 0151.228.2650).
SHS sell (also by mail order) their LoProfin egg replacer
and provide a selection of recipes for people who omit
eggs from their diet. This product contains maize starch
as one ingredient. To date this is derived from non-GM maize
(corn). (Maize starch is used as a source of alternatives
for gelatin, e.g. in capsules for dietary supplements.) The
SHS Advice Line is (0151) 228 8161. Most of their products are suitable
These replacers are not nutritionally equivalent to ingredients
derived from hens eggs, but in many uses this difference
could be neglected.
Isle of Wight Vegetarians and Vegans publish in their Meals
Without Squeals booklets and in other sources further guidance
on applications of egg replacers, even to the creation of
meringues. Check out their website for more recipes...
Some health food stores sell egg replacers with suggestions
for recipes. For many purposes, e.g. making cakes and nut
roasts, lecithin derived from soya serves to provide the required
Tofu can be turned to nutritional account in forms resembling
scrambled eggs in appearance and use in the diet. An IoW booklet
gives a recipe, and Leah Lenemans The Single Vegan (Thorsons,
ISBN 0-7225-1454-9) offers another, a further version of which
is offered for two people by Stella Collier, as follows:-
Scrambled Tofu on Toast
1 packet tofu (285g) mashed
2 fluid ounces Plamil Concentrated Soya Milk (or any other
if not available).
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 Shallots chopped
4 ½ t.phpoon dry mustard
1 tablespoon Shoyu sauce
½ t.phpoon turmeric
Salt and pepper to taste.
Sauté shallots in oil and add mashed tofu and remaining
ingredients. Stir well over high heat. Serve on wholemeal
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