BROWNIE RESEARCH STUDY
Desserts account for half of in-store bakery sales, with brownies/dessert bars showing the highest sales growth in recent years, according to IDDBA (Sloan 2016). Most commercially made brownies are one of three types determined by their texture: fudge type, cake type and bar type. The research team selected to test a cake-type brownie recipe as one of the most commonly preferred types that uses eggs, in order to test egg replacement. The control formula consisted of flour, granulated white sugar, natural cocoa, margarine, milk, whole eggs, vanilla extract, salt and baking powder.
The use of ingredients to reduce or replace eggs in brownies 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. Tasters unanimously preferred the control to the test formulas on all days of testing.
The areas of brownie quality most negatively affected when eggs were removed and/or replaced included height, appearance, aroma, texture and most significantly, flavor.
Overall, changes in quality from the reduction or removal of egg products in brownies were slight but noticeable.
Brownie Visual Comparison
Made with REAL EGGS
Made with EGG REPLACERS*
For this study, eggs were reduced and/or removed from the brownie formula and substituted with products marketed as egg replacing ingredients for food manufacturers. The team followed manufacturers’ suggested usage level for egg substitutes, ranging from 20 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 cake-type brownie characteristics.
The research team selected six egg replacers, including:
- Starch-based blend
- Whey protein concentrate
- Blends of various ingredients
- Whole algal flour
Brownie batters are typically mixed in bowl mixers with paddle attachments, with the primary objectives being ingredients distribution and batter aeration. There exist two common methods for mixing brownie batter, either all in one or the creaming method, and researchers selected the latter for this project.
Both the batter and cooked, cooled brownies were analyzed using industry standard, category-specific tests.
The batter and finished brownie samples were tested for the following as appropriate:
- Batter specific gravity
- Baked good height & shape
- Water activity
- Subjective/Sensory Tests
- Cooked appearance
- Cooked aroma
- Overall likability
*This photo represents only 1 of 6 egg replacer products.