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MAMBO: beating egg whites to a foam

Egg white is often used by the food industry because of its foaming power, but it remains difficult to control in some situations.  The MAMBO research project has been designed to control and improve the foaming properties of this product.  The project is being coordinated by the Joint Research Unit for the Science and Technology of Milk and Eggs (STLO) and the UMR CNRS/Oniris Gepea Joint Research Unit.

. © INRA, LHOPITAL Marie-Christine
Updated on 06/28/2013
Published on 06/28/2013

Egg products are included in the composition of numerous foods such as pastries, vegetable or fish mousses or confectionery.  The food industry thus requires egg whites with high foaming and/or gelling powers.  But it is a variable ingredient whose foaming properties may be impacted by many different factors: the source of the raw material, production conditions, the processes applied to ensure the hygiene and storage of eggs, traces of yolk in the egg white, or the expansion processes1 applied to beat the egg whites to stiffness.

Establishing a model to predict the aptitude of egg whites for expansion

The MAMBO project (Maîtrise et Amélioration des Mousses de Blanc d'Œuf, or Control and Improvement of Egg White Foams) aims to identify and quantify the sources of variability in egg whites and the impact of processes on finished product quality.  Large samples from egg white batches will be collected from the food industry.  This first stage will enable the establishment of a model to predict the expansion aptitude of egg whites as a function of the characteristics of the raw material and the processes to which it is subjected.  The researchers will then focus on contained environments (freezing, concentration, drying) which give rise to a high concentration of proteins that impact the foaming properties of egg whites.

Better control of foam structure using a static mixer

Finally, various expansion processes to replace those usually employed by industry will be tested.  This is the case of the static mixer developed by Oniris.  The aim is to compare the stability and structure of the foams obtained (expansion rate and bubble size) using different processes.  The MAMBO project, lasting for two years, has received financial support from the Brittany and Pays de la Loire Regional Councils and Rennes Métropole. It involves two research units (INRA/Agrocampus Ouest Joint Research Unit for the Science and Technology of Milk and Eggs (STLO)  and CNRS/Oniris Gepea Joint Research Unit) and ADRO Ouest (Association for the Development of Research on Egg Products) which federates industrial entities working with egg products.
1 – Expansion involves the introduction of air bubbles into a liquid mixture of water and proteins, thus creating a foam.

Valérie LECHEVALIER (+33(0)2 23 48 58 95)
Associated Division(s):
Microbiology and the Food Chain , Science for Food and Bioproduct Engineering
Associated Centre(s):