Not to be confused with albumen (egg white), albumins are a class of water-soluble proteins found in egg white as well as milk and blood serum. All substances that contain albumins are known as albuminoids. Although an egg white is composed primarily of water, about 10% of the clear and viscous substance contains proteins like albumins, globulins, and mucoproteins. Egg albumin protein is a valuable ingredient in many food products, including pet food and pet treats, due to its nutritional benefits and its ability to thermally coagulate and bind ingredients together.
Egg Albumin Protein
Unlike yolk, egg white contains very little fat and no cholesterol, making it an important ingredient in the food formulation industry. It accounts for over half the weight of the egg, and it is an excellent source of protein. A simple form of protein, egg albumin protein presents several unique characteristics that make it extremely useful to pet food manufacturers.
First, as we mentioned previously, it offers thermal coagulation. Upon first cracking an egg, you can observe the translucency and soft, liquid-like nature of the egg white. When cooked, the heat causes denaturation, hardening the albumen and coloring it opaque white. The changes in viscosity and color reflect the denaturation of the egg albumin protein.
Next, albumin is water-soluble. This characteristic assists with the incorporation and dispersion of the protein when making pet foods or treats. When a protein offers high solubility, its range of potential applications may expand. Egg albumin protein is also soluble in dilute saline solutions.
Types of Albumins Within Egg White
There are many different proteins in the family of albumins. Each of these functional proteins has a specific purpose, from aiding in the digestive process and binding cells to boosting the immune system. They assist food product developers as they work to overcome formulation challenges. Within egg white, you will find these two predominant proteins:
- Ovalbumin: The primary protein in egg white, ovalbumin provides nourishment and binds digestive enzymes. It makes up approximately 54% of the protein in egg albumen (source).
- Ovotransferrin: Ovotransferrin, a glycoprotein, is the most heat-labile protein within egg albumen (meaning it is the first protein to start gelling when albumen is exposed to heat). Previously known as conalbumin, it makes up approximately 12% of the protein in egg albumen.
Other proteins within the egg albumen include ovomucoid, ovomucin, globulin, and lysozyme. And in addition to protein, the egg white contains nutrients like magnesium, riboflavin, potassium, sodium, and niacin and minerals like zinc, phosphorous, copper, and calcium.
One of the great benefits of egg albumin is that, unlike many other foods, it loses little nutritional value when cooked. Consider adding IsoNova’s innovative dry egg products like OvaBind™ (Patent No. 8,916,156), Ova 70, or OvaTrition™ to your pet food or pet treats to take advantage of the albumins within egg white. To learn more about our egg products and how they can be customized and enhanced to suit your specific needs, please contact IsoNova® today.