The Egg Protein Refinery

– A strategy to improve value by separation into individual functionalities

Chicken eggs provide an excellent source of high-quality proteins, not only of high nutritional value, but also with important biological characteristics such as antimicrobial, iron-binding, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and vitamin-binding activities. Furthermore, egg proteins are an appreciated source of food ingredients, conferring gelling, foaming and other functional characteristics in the form of various dried egg powders.

We apply our mild separation technologies to isolate individual functional and bioactive proteins to maximize the value of an entire egg resource:

Our CAS techniques have proven very efficient in separating

  • ovotransferrin and lysozyme providing antimicrobial functions
  • highly purified ovalbumin as a heat resistant functional protein ingredient
  • immunoglobulins for immune support and passive immunization

Ovotransferrin

Ovotransferrin is a 77.7 kDa glycoprotein that constitutes 12 % of the total egg white protein. Ovotransferrin is an iron-binding protein and can be used as a nutritional ingredient in iron fortified products. Furthermore, there is strong evidence of ovotransferrin acting as an antimicrobial agent.

Ovalbumin

Ovalbumin is a 44.5 kDa phosphoglycoprotein that constitutes more than half of the total egg white protein. Ovalbumin is the dominant contributor to the high gelling and foaming effect achieved with egg whites. However, the isolated protein has a higher heat stability than the the crude egg white which enables heat treatment of pure ovalbumin at higher temperatures without the occurrence of unwanted precipitation.

Lysozyme

Lysozyme has a molecular weight of 14,4 kDa and constitutes approximately 3,5 % of the total egg white protein. The antimicrobial action of lysozyme has been used in food (e.g. cheese and wine) and in pharmaceutical products, where lysozyme is used for protection against bacterial, viral and inflammatory agents.

Immunoglobulin Y (IgY)

Immunoglobulin Y (IgY), an analog to the mammalian IgG, is an abundant component of the egg yolk and is an important immune support for the developing chicken. The immunoprotein IgY is a widely used food supplement and preservative and is under investigation as a supplement to new born farm animals as an alternative to the use of synthetic antibiotics.