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Interesting Egg cooking article

This article try to be to the point and thorough, take notes if necessary so you may pass this info on to others, who will undoubtedly ask this question every week from now until the end of time. This is just a summary of thousands of egg articles I've read .

Yes you can eat raw eggs/whites, but the whole eggs or carton eggs must be pasteurized (it will say so on the carton). Pasteurization is when they heat the egg/egg product enough to kill all the bacteria (including salmonella) and the protein digestion inhibitors (Avidin)). If you eat non-pasteurized eggs/egg products your body cannot utilize the protein in them due to the presence of a protein inhibitor. And while you may get salmonella from raw eggs/egg product the chances are low with Lion brand eggs in the UK, but the risks increase dramatically with imports from warmer climates and ironically are higher with free range and particularly organic eggs.

Avidin is a glycoprotein, which is found in raw egg whites, and blocks the uptake of Vitamin B6 and Vitamin H (Biotin) causing a vitamin deficiency (it binds to Biotin and iron making them unavailable). You must cook/pasteurize the egg white to neutralize the Avidin and allow your body to safely digest the protein and utilize all its amino acids. Cooking egg whites at high temperatures denatures some of the amino acids which makes the proteins slightly less effective (slower digesting). A soft boiled or poached egg (at 70% albumin coagulation) is digested much easier as opposed to a fried or hard boiled egg. Soft boiled/poached eggs spend less than 2 hours in the stomach being digested, where as 2 fried/hard boiled eggs spend over 3 hours in the stomach. Although fried/hard cooked eggs can be digested as completely as soft cooked eggs, it takes longer for them to be completely digested and can pass through the digestive system before being completely assimilated. Often a cause of bad gas along with low levels of protein digesting stomach enzymes or acids.

An egg white is about 10% protein and 90% water. It is the proteins that cause the egg white to solidify when you cook it. Egg white proteins are long chains of amino acids. In a raw egg, these proteins are curled and folded to form a compact ball. Weak bonds between amino acids hold the proteins in this shape until you turn up the heat. When heated, the weak bonds break and the protein unfolds. Then its amino acids form weak bonds with the amino acids of other proteins, a process called coagulation. The resulting network of proteins captures water, making a soft, digestible gel.

If you keep the heat turned up too high or too long when you cook an egg, the proteins in the egg white form more and more bonds, squeezing some of the water out of the protein network and making the egg white rubbery and increasing their digestion time.

So, basically the most bio-available and readily assimilated egg proteins are either pasteurized raw eggs/egg products or soft cooked/poached eggs that have not reached 160 degrees at which point the proteins become coagulated/denatured and take longer to be completely digested and assimilated. I hope this helps clear up some questions.

Eggs begin to cook at about 70 F degrees, and will be "scrambled eggs" at 82 - but if the 62 degree temperature is maintained, the result is a safe egg that will act like a raw egg in recipes and will provide a fully usable protein source.


The difference between flash pasteurisation and UHT