SUGAR 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. There are infinite varieties of cookies, however, one of the most popular cookie types in retail stores in the U.S. is the wire-cut sugar cookie. Because sugar cookies are both commonly available and simple in flavor, they were selected to test egg replacers in application.
Overall, changes in quality from the reduction or removal of egg products in sugar cookies are slight but noticeable.
The areas of sugar cookie quality most negatively affected when eggs are removed and/or replaced included the color/appearance, aroma, flavor and texture.
No single egg replacer performed as well or better than eggs in objective or subjective tests. Tasters unanimously preferred the Control to Test formulas. It’s appealingly cracked top, slight chew and sweet, classic sugar cookie aroma and flavor won panelists’ approval as the most appealing cookie. It was neither dry nor moist, and its structure was firm in the mouth yet chewy and pleasant to eat.
Sugar Cookie Visual Comparison
Made with REAL EGGS
Made with EGG REPLACERS*
For this study, eggs were reduced and/or removed from sugar 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 sugar cookie characteristics.
Seven 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 are cakey and cookies without proper volume are dense and leaden, both have poor eating qualities.
The batter and finished cookie samples were tested for the following as appropriate:
- Baked good shape
- Water activity
- Subjective/sensory tests
- Cooked appearance
- Cooked aroma
- Overall likeability
*This photo represents only 1 of 7 egg replacer products.