CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE RESEARCH STUDY
A perennial favorite, cookies enjoy popularity with consumers, now totaling more than $7.1 billion in sales in 2015, according to data from IRI. According to Mintel, the category grew 17 percent between 2008 and 2013, a sizeable change. Chocolate chip cookies are one of the most common wire-cut or “rich” cookies and thus were selected to test egg replacers in application.
Overall, changes in quality from the reduction or removal of egg products in chocolate chip cookies are slight but noticeable.
The areas of chocolate chip cookie quality most negatively affected when eggs are removed and/or replaced included the aroma, flavor and texture and to a lesser extent color and appearance.
No single egg replacer performed as well or better than eggs in the chocolate chip cookie formulation. Tasters unanimously preferred the Control to Test formulas on days one and 14 of testing. Its appealingly high rise, round edges, crispy, snappy texture and sweet, classic chocolate chip cookie aroma won panelists’ approval as the most appealing cookie. It was neither dry nor moist, and its structure was firm in the mouth yet crunchy and pleasant to eat.
Chocolate Chip Cookie Visual Comparison
Made with REAL EGGS
Made with EGG REPLACERS*
For this study, eggs were reduced and/or removed from chocolate chip cookie formulas 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 gold standard chocolate chip cookie characteristics.
Nine egg replacer ingredients were tested including:
- Starch-based blend
- Soy-based blend
- Whey protein concentrate
- Wheat protein isolate
- Blends of various ingredients
- Fiber-based blend
- Whole algal flour
Cookies should have a fine cell structure and an even spread and rise; a slightly domed center is acceptable. Cookies with too much rise risk being cakey and cookies without proper volume risk being dense and leaden; both of these types have poor eating qualities.
The batter and finished cookie samples were tested for the following as appropriate:
- Baked good height/shape
- Water activity
- Subjective/sensory tests
- Cooked appearance
- Cooked aroma
- Overall likability
*This photo represents only 1 of 9 egg replacer products.