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Powdered eggs are fully dehydrated eggs. They are made using spray drying in the same way that powdered milk is made. The major advantages of powdered eggs over fresh eggs are the price, reduced weight per volume of whole egg equivalent, and the shelf life. Other advantages include smaller usage of storage space, and lack of need for refrigeration. Powdered eggs can be used without rehydration when baking, and can be rehydrated to make dishes such as scrambled eggs and omelettes.
Powdered eggs appear in literature, as a staple of camp cooking, at least as early as 1912.
The modern method of manufacturing powdered eggs was developed in the 1930s by Albert Grant and Co. of the Mile End Road, London. This cake manufacturer was importing liquid egg from China and one of his staff realised that this was 75% water. An experimental freeze-drying plant was built and tried. Then a factory was set up in Singapore to process Chinese egg. As war approached, Grant transferred his dried egg facility to Argentina. The British Government lifted the patent during the war and many other suppliers came into the market notably in the United States. The Chinese were airdrying eggs that had been whipped and left in the sun to dry and then ground since the Middle Ages. Early importers to the United States included Vic Henningsen Sr. and others in the United Kingdom.
Powdered eggs have a storage life of 5 to 10 years when stored without oxygen in a cool storage environment.
The process of drying eggs so as to make powdered eggs oxidizes the cholesterol, which has been shown to be dangerous in animal trials.
- Along the Mohawk trail; or, Boy scouts on Lake Champlain, Percy Keese Fitzhugh, Grosset & Dunlap, 1912, p. 219.
- "Powdered Eggs". USA Emergency Supply. Retrieved 14 October 2013.