BLUEBERRY MUFFIN RESEARCH STUDY
Muffins and donuts totaled 48 percent of packaged sweet snack sales according to NACS data, with blueberry one of the most commonly available flavor varieties of muffins sold. Because of this, the research team selected a blueberry-flavored muffin to study, made with a commercially-available crème cake mix to standardize ingredients and limit variables.
The use of ingredients to reduce or replace eggs in peak-top muffins is challenging for even the most accomplished baker. No single egg replacer performed as well or better than whole eggs in objective or subjective tests.
The areas of muffin quality most negatively affected when eggs are removed and/or replaced included batter viscosity, color/appearance and most importantly, baked good flavor and texture.
The control muffin had symmetrical, even peaks, open-grained texture and sweet, blueberry-forward aroma and flavor and won panelists’ approval as the most appealing muffin. It can be concluded that peak-top muffin formulas do indeed need eggs or egg replacing ingredients to function properly.
Blueberry Muffin Visual Comparison
Made with REAL EGGS
Made with EGG REPLACERS*
For this study, eggs were reduced and/or removed from the muffin formula and substituted with products marketed as egg replacing ingredients for food manufacturers. The team followed manufacturers’ suggested usage levels for egg substitutes, ranging from 25 to 100 percent. The research team then conducted common analytical tests and sensory panelists evaluated organoleptic properties of the finished samples to measure results against desired peak-top crème cake blueberry muffin characteristics.
The research team selected nine egg replacers, including:
- Starch-based blend
- Soy-based blend
- Whey protein concentrate
- Wheat protein isolate
- Blends of various ingredients, including hydrocolloids
- Fiber-based blend
- Whole algal flour
Muffin batters are typically mixed in two or three stages in planetary mixers. Upon testing, it was determined the two-stage method would not work with replacer formulas, due to their excess water absorption. The resulting slurry after stage one was too viscous for the 6-quart standing KitchenAid mixer. A revised single-stage method was used to allow the mixer to fully hydrate all the ingredients.
Both the batter and cooked, cooled muffins were analyzed using industry standard, category-specific tests.
The batter and finished cake samples were tested for the following as appropriate:
- Batter specific gravity
- Batter viscosity
- Baked good height & shape
- Water activity
- Subjective/sensory tests
- Cooked appearance
- Cooked aroma
- Overall likeability
*This photo represents only 1 of 9 egg replacer products.