Colorado-based Nepra Foods announces it has begun commercial production and in-plant trials of its Essential brand Egg White Replacement Powder (EPB-ER1), a proprietary egg white replacer for wholesale bakeries.
“With this new ingredient, bakeries can finally get real eggs out of their formulations for good”
According to Nepra, which produces a range of nutritious and allergen-friendly foods, the plant-based powder is intended for producers who want to remove or reduce eggs in an existing product formulation.
While most plant-based egg products on the market replace the taste and texture of whole cooked eggs, such as scrambled eggs, Nepra’s EPB-ER1 is designed for commercial bakers that use a chicken-based egg white powder, but are looking to switch to an animal-free alternative.
Egg white powder is an important ingredient for large bakeries, which often rely on the unique structural and binding properties of conventional egg whites. However, due to inflation and a historic outbreak of HPAI (avian flu) infections, Nepra reports wholesale prices of dried egg whites have soared 165% since the beginning of 2022, and over 300% since 2017.
“When I talk to bakery colleagues around the world, they are all struggling with the recent spike in egg white prices and reduced supply,” said Chadwick White, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer of Nepra Foods. “Bakeries have gone through these egg price fluctuations in the past with bird flu outbreaks, but there has never been a viable alternative to satisfy their needs.”
Using plant proteins, Nepra says it spent years developing food technology that could truly replace the structural properties of egg whites. With EPB-ER1, it says it can now provide the same structure egg whites provide in most bakery products, such as meringues. The company’s replacement is also essential for gluten-free bread, which often uses egg whites as a stabilizer.
Nepra is currently working with global partners and suppliers to secure the supply of plant proteins it needs to meet demand and create stable pricing for its customers. Over the next 12 months, the company expects egg replacer demand to exceed 900,000 pounds.
In addition to eggs, Nepra has pioneered a number of other food innovations, such as creating plant-based beef, chicken and pork from textured hemp protein. In February 2022, the company entered the US securities market, following a successful IPO in Canada, which raised $7.5M CAD in funding.
“A true solution”
“It has taken us a long time to finally get to the point where we have the right combination of different plant proteins, extracted correctly, that create the functionality we need to provide the industry with a true solution,” shared White. “With this new ingredient, bakeries can finally get real eggs out of their formulations for good and not be subject to these extreme market fluctuations in the future. As an added benefit, removing eggs from these products allows most of them to become allergen-free and suitable for vegan diets which will expand their market.”