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What are eggs?

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watch for hidden eggs

Eggs are present in foods for one of two purposes: as a binder or as leavening.

Eggs encompasses the eggs of any egg-laying animal, but for most grocery purposes you will encounter primarily chicken eggs, with an occasional duck, goose, or ostrich egg. Those with a egg allergy react to the protein in eggs called “ovomucoid”. Most people who are allergic to eggs react to the white rather than the yolk.

As a major allergen, eggs will be clearly marked on the labels of foods produced for the US market, usually in the form “contains eggs”. However, it is still important to learn what to look for to avoid eggs in your diet.

Read the label for eggs

Eggs can be found in albumin (albumen), egg (as in "dried egg", "powdered egg", etc.), eggnog, globulin, livetin, lysozyme, mayonnaise and related "-aise" condiments, meringue, surimi, vitellin, words beginning with "oo-" or "ova-" (as in ovalubmin).

Note: Please be aware that many egg substitutes may in fact contain egg proteins. Unusual places to find egg include baked goods, breaded items, coffee foam, fried rice, marzipan, marshmallows, meatloaf, nougats, and pasta. Always check the label.

Egg free substitutions

Eggs are one of the more challenging allergens to substitute. You must first determine its purpose in the recipe to determine a suitable substitution. If it's being used as a binder, for each egg in the recipe, use:

If your egg is being used as leavening, mix 22 mL olive oil with 22 mL water and 6 grams baking powder per egg.

Note: There are going to be recipes where no amount of egg substitute can save it. Foods like angel food cake are pretty much all egg. Just make something else.

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