Developments to Watch
HONEY, THEY SHRUNK THE EGGS INTO HANDY LITTLE PELLETS
When it comes to convenience, eggs leave a lot to be desired. They take up room in the refrigerator and break at all the wrong times. And for food companies that need lots of eggs for baked goods and other products, shipping them frozen is costly. More convenient by far would be tiny lumps of dried, eggy essence.
Food scientist Joseph H. MacNeil and other researchers at Pennsylvania State University have performed this sleight of egg in a three-step process. First, they put eggs, which are 70% to 80% water, in a vacuum. Most of the water evaporates, leaving behind a thick, yellow solution. This is poured into little cups and frozen using liquid nitrogen. Drying removes the rest of the water. The result: pea-size yellow pellets that are just like the real thing when rehydrated or cooked in food.
If the concentrate is all it's cracked up to be, MacNeil suggests, ordinary eggs may be largely obsolete in a decade.EDITED BY FLEUR TEMPLETON