Eggs provide great options for breakfasts or snacks, with many nutritional benefits, but it’s not always convenient to fix shell eggs. In some cases liquid eggs, pre-made eggs or other egg products might be a good fit. Other times you may only need the egg white, but don’t want to separate the yolk from the egg white.
Egg products refer to further processed or ready-to-use products made after shell eggs are broken and processed. All egg products are required by law to be pasteurized. Approximately one-third of all eggs produced in the U.S. are broken and further processed. About three billion pounds of all types of egg products are produced in the U.S. annually. The safety of egg products is regulated by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety Inspection Service, through the Egg Products Inspection Act.
These products include whole eggs, egg whites and egg yolks in frozen, refrigerated liquid and dried forms. Specialty egg products can be pre-peeled hard-boiled eggs, egg salad and pre-cooked omelets, egg patties, quiches, scrambled eggs or fried eggs. They may also be included in products like cake and cookie mixes.
When purchasing egg products, check for containers that are tightly sealed and unopened. Although egg products have been pasteurized, it is important to follow all cooking instructions to ensure maximum safety.
Dried eggs are another type of useful egg products, particularly when hiking, backpacking, camping and boating when refrigeration facilities aren’t available for a safe and lightweight alternative to shell eggs. After dried egg products are mixed with water, they should be refrigerated in a tightly-sealed container and used within four days.
Liquid egg products should be refrigerated at all times and eaten within two to six days of purchase, or they can be frozen. Refrigerated liquid eggs can be place unopened in the freezer and stored for up to one year. Defrost only as needed, as frozen eggs cannot be refrozen once thawed. To defrost, place unopened containers in the refrigerator or under cold water and use within three days of thawing.
To find recipes using egg products, visit the Incredible Egg. To keep up to date on egg safety, follow us on Twitter and Facebook.