At the grocery store, you may be wondering what the difference is between liquid egg products and whole eggs. What are liquid egg products and when would I use them? Are liquid eggs real eggs?
I thought it would be fun to learn more about these products and see how they compare to regular whole eggs. Here is what I found.
Whole, real eggs are one of most nutritious real foods you can add to your diet. They are a great source of protein and packed full of nutrients. They are a source of vitamin D, vitamin B12, choline, lutein, and even a small amount of omega 3 fats.
Eggs are also one of the biggest sources of cholesterol in the American diet.
Cholesterol was a source of controversy for many years. But we now know that the cholesterol in eggs does not raise blood cholesterol (LDL) levels for most people. It also does not cause heart disease.
In fact, the latest thinking is that eggs can actually help prevent the development of diabetes.
The consensus is that an egg per day, including the yolk, is beneficial for your health.
Most people eat two to three eggs in a sitting and have them once or twice per week. This fits within those recommendations.
A dozen eggs can cost as little as $1 for the (low quality) conventional eggs and as much as $6 per dozen for pasture raised eggs. This is works out to a cost ranging from $0.08 to $0.50 per egg.
Egg whites and the yolk both contain protein. Few other nutrients are found in the egg white. On the other hand the egg yolk contains almost all the notable vitamins and minerals.
This is important to understand because most liquid egg products are made only using egg whites and not the yolk.
Let’s see what liquid egg products have to offer.
Liquid Whole Eggs
You may have seen liquid whole eggs available at some grocery stores. They do not seem to be as popular as other liquid egg products. Liquid whole eggs are what they sound like; cracked whole eggs in a carton.
They are pasteurized meaning they have been heat treated to kill potential bacteria. If you add them to a recipe, say for cookies or brownies, you (and more importantly your kids!) can eat the raw batter.
For this reason liquid whole eggs are a great option if you are doing baking projects with children.
Most brands of liquid whole eggs come from cage free chickens. If animal welfare is important to you this is not a great option to choose.
Vital Farms, a supplier of pasture raised eggs you can find at almost all grocery stores, sells liquid pasture raised eggs exclusively at Whole Foods.
A 16 ounce container costs $5.99. This works out to $0.67 per serving. There is the equivalent of nine whole eggs in one container. So they are a bit more expensive than whole eggs, but convenient if you need them for a specific purpose.
One other consideration to keep it mind. Liquid whole egg products should be used within three to five days of opening. If you do not plan properly and use the whole container you may end up wasting food and money.
Be sure to work these into your weekly meal plan if you purchase them.
Liquid Egg Whites
Most liquid egg white products have one ingredient; egg whites. They provide five grams of protein per serving, slightly less than a whole egg. And they are also a source of naturally occurring sodium and potassium.
Egg whites naturally contain no fat or cholesterol. This is why they were once such a popular choice for health conscious individuals during the low fat craze many years ago.
A serving of liquid egg whites is three tablespoons of liquid and contains 25 calories, all coming from protein. For comparison there are about two tablespoons of egg white in one whole egg.
One serving of liquid egg whites is equal to about the amount of egg white in two whole eggs.
Most liquid egg white products are also pasteurized.
What Can You Use Liquid Egg Whites For?
Liquid egg whites are great if you are trying to add more protein to your diet and want a low calorie and cost effective way to do it. A 16 ounce container of liquid egg whites costs $2.99. This works out to $0.29 per serving.
A great way to use these is to add one or two servings to foods like scrambled eggs to boost your protein intake. Eating more protein at breakfast can help you stay full until lunch. This strategy has proven effective to help promote weight loss.
My concern is that the eggs in these products come from conventional eggs, which I am not a fan of. There are organic liquid egg white products available at some grocery stores as an alternative but they can be hard to find.
For example, at Whole Foods organic liquid egg whites cost $4.49 per 16 ounce container which is $0.44 per serving.
Liquid egg whites are a cost effective alternative to whole eggs if you need egg whites for a recipe. They are also a healthy and cost effective way to add high quality protein to your diet without any extra fat or cholesterol.
How Do They Taste?
Liquid egg whites have very little taste by themselves. The whites begin to solidify at a lower heat than the yolks so be careful when you cook these, they cook very quickly.
I found that as soon as I poured them into my skillet they began to solidify and stuck to the bottom of my pan. I used a lower heat than normal and it helped, but they still cook quite fast.
Liquid Egg Products
Egg Beaters are a brand name for another type of liquid egg product. There are also generic versions like the one I purchased in the photo above.
The label is a bit tricky because at first glace you think you are purchasing liquid whole eggs, which you are not.
These products also use egg whites as the base ingredient. Beta carotene is added to make them appear yellow and then several vitamins and minerals are added to attempt to replicate the nutritional content of a whole egg. Plus there is some “natural flavor” in there too.
I’m not a fan of products that try to mimic a natural whole food. With egg whites you know what you are getting; protein. However, liquid egg products are trying to be a cholesterol and fat free replacement for eggs.
Whole foods contain more than vitamins and minerals. This is why it’s better to eat real food than take a whole food based multivitamin.
There are many other compounds that are beneficial for our health in an egg yolk including lutein and zeaxanthin. These are the pigments that make egg yolks yellow and they are important for proper eye health.
Neither of these nutrients would be found in liquid egg products.
Liquid eggs are pasteurized and can be eaten raw.
A 16 ounce container of liquid eggs cost $2.99. This works out to $0.29 per serving. This is the same as the cost of liquid egg whites.
How Do They Taste?
When scrambled with a small amount of butter in a skillet these cook like real eggs. The finished product looks similar as well, though a bit more pale yellow in color.
They taste more like egg whites with a weird aftertaste. They were not as creamy and fluffy as the real eggs.
I made my wife and eight year old try them and without knowing my son said they tasted funny too.
What Should You Choose?
Whole foods are always best.
The biggest selling point of liquid egg products is that they look similar to whole eggs without the fat or cholesterol. However, the fat in eggs is good for our bodies and the cholesterol does not have a negative effect on our health.
Liquid egg whites can serve a purpose if you are trying to add more quality protein to your diet or if you need them for a recipe. And they are cheaper per serving than a pasture raised egg which makes them a cost effective whole food based protein source.
Personally, I would still rather make my own egg whites using a yolk separator like this one for the rare recipe that calls for them.
Most recipes for baked goods call for whole eggs. If you are making cookies or brownies and know that your kids might want to eat the batter (a safe bet) liquid whole eggs are a safer alternative. Especially if you can find a pasture raised brand.
Whole eggs contain many beneficial nutrients that are great for our bodies. Choose the whole food unless there is a specific need for a specialized liquid product.
Take Home Message
Choose Whole Eggs most of the time. Pasture raised eggs cost $0.50 per egg.
Try Liquid Whole Eggs in recipes where you may eat raw batter. Pasture raised liquid eggs cost $0.67 per egg.
Choose Egg Whites if you need a low cost whole food protein. These cost $0.29 per egg.
Only choose Liquid Egg products if there are no other options at the grocery store. These cost $0.29 per egg.
Liquid eggs are egg whites with added nutrients and beta carotene to make them yellow. They are a cholesterol and fat free alternative to real eggs. They are not as nutritious as real eggs.
No. They are made from real egg whites but contain added ingredients to make they appear yellow and vitamins and minerals to mimic the nutrition found in real eggs.