The price of eggs has been trending upward since the beginning of 2022, but a severe outbreak of bird flu in the US and France cut the egg-laying industry’s production capacity by about 10%, hampering an already tenuous environment created by the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The result? The prices of whole eggs shot up to their second highest level ever in April. According to the retail analytics firm Information Resources Inc, egg prices have risen by 47% in July, compared to a year ago. The wholesale price on the New York market for Large cartoned shell eggs delivered to retailers rose $0.08 to $2.27 per dozen.
With eggs accounting for as much as 30% of cake recipes, this is obviously putting massive strain on bakers to maintain costs – without passing them on to the consumer.
Palsgaard will be focused on solving this problem during a knowledge-sharing session at the upcoming International Baking Industry Exposition (IBIE) – to be held in Las Vegas, US, from 17-21 September.
The Juelsminde-headquartered company has been offering the industry know-how and innovation since founder Einar Viggo Schou invented the modern plant-based food emulsifier in 1917. The company has six application centres around the world, from which its food technologists can help manufacturers optimise existing recipes and develop new ones with better nutritional profiles.
“We’ve got decades of experience in the use of emulsifiers in baking – and we love sharing our knowledge,” said Sheila Rice, business development manager at Palsgaard.
According to Palsgaard, the amount of egg needed in a cake recipe depends largely on the choice of emulsifier. Traditional cake gels or hydrates – which are typically based on monoglycerides – can perform poorly on stability, meaning that more egg is needed.
However, Palsgaard’s series of powdered emulsifiers are based on polyglycerol esters (PGEs) of fatty acids, allowing industrial bakers to cut the egg content by around 20%. This translates to a typical cost reduction of around 5%.
Included in the portfolio is a specialised series for cake mixes, designed to help bakers achieve that perfect shape, volume and crumb structure, while simplifying production and accelerating output.
Collections are plant-based, sustainably sourced and produced in Palsgaard’s CO2-neutral factories in Denmark, the Netherlands, Mexico, Brazil, China and Malaysia. They are also free from trans fats and can allow a shift from saturated to unsaturated oils.
Added Rice, “The beautiful thing about our whipping-active emulsifiers is that they solve such a wide range of challenges in cake production.
“Lower costs through reduced egg use is an obvious advantage, but there are so many performance benefits, too. The proper emulsifier can be the key to the desired structure, volume and appearance of your cake, as well as providing the opportunity to create better-for-you recipes.”
Palsgaard is owned by the Schou Foundation and has 650+ employees across 17 countries. Its turnover in 2021 was 1.7bn DKK ($260m), with products sold to more than 120 countries.
In addition to food emulsifiers, the company supplies the polymers industry with a series of plant-based and food-grade polymer additives, which are particularly suited for preventing fogging and dust on plastic packaging.