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As a food and as a supplement, eggs have been hailed as “perfect protein” in the fitness industry for decades. Their high absorption rate by the body and their supply of amino acids, vitamins and minerals mean egg proteins have been a standard to which other protein sources are compared. Many health enthusiasts have utilized their benefits via an array of products, from powdered egg whites to liquid eggs — whether whole or just whites — and even fresh eggs. These products have many uses, including weight loss, muscle gain, and general well-being.
Egg protein powders are made from egg whites. They are very low in fat, carbohydrates and cholesterol but high in quality protein, making an accessible supplement for those who are on just about any type of diet. For those avoiding dairy products, egg protein powders are a convenient substitute for whey and casein proteins.
Egg white protein powders can be added to smoothies and shakes, and can be used as a substitute for fresh eggs in baked goods. They also can be combined with other types of protein powders. Egg protein powders can be flavorless but also come in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and other dessert-like flavors. They can be stored in a cool, dry place for up to two years.
Powdered eggs, or dehydrated eggs, come in whole egg, egg yolk or egg white varieties. Their long shelf life, economical price and versatility make them a convenient diet and culinary staple. Powdered eggs can be used in virtually all recipes that utilize fresh eggs, from scrambled eggs to eggnog; they also can be used as a supplement. If stored in a cool, dry area, they can last many years.
For those who prefer a fresher, real egg product, liquid egg whites are key. They can be poured directly from the carton onto the griddle or into the blender when making omelets or smoothies. Aside from convenience, the difference between manually separating egg whites from their yolks and using a carton of liquid egg whites is that the latter has usually been pasteurized, or sterilized with heat, to prevent contamination. Otherwise, the texture and taste are similar. "Fresher” equals “perishable”, though, and it’s important to consume liquid egg whites by the expiration date on the carton and keep them refrigerated; liquid egg whites can also be frozen for up to a year to preserve shelf life.
The most economical egg protein source is the whole egg. Eggs can be hard-boiled as a convenient snack or used as a high-protein garnish for salads and sandwiches. The egg white, especially when hard-boiled, can easily be separated from the yolk for those watching their fat and cholesterol intake. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends keeping raw eggs in the refrigerator for no longer then five weeks and consuming hard-boiled eggs within seven days.