Facts on Food Hypersensitivity to Egg
This article was a publication
of the now defunct Allergy Asthma Association of Alberta. It was
published in the late 1980s so some of the information may be outdated.
However it can still be of some use because egg is widely used
in foods today. Always check the label and call the manufacturer
The most likely part of the egg to cause hypersensitivity
is the egg white or albumin. Infants who are hypersensitive
to eggs, may tolerate them as they grow older.
Egg in any form should be removed from the diet.
This includes eggs from any type of fowl.
The following terms indicate the presence of
egg in a product and such products must be omitted from the diet:
Egg protein shampoos may also cause egg allergics
to suffer an allergic reaction. These and other egg containing
non-food products should be avoided.
Persons who develop anaphylactic symptoms such
as hypotension, urticaria (hives), shock , wheezing, laryngospasm
or swelling of the mouth or throat "should not receive egg derived
vaccines" until they have been skin tested. Please consult
your doctor before immunization, for a test dose of the MMR (Measles,
mumps, rubella) vaccine, if your child has not been exposed to eggs.
Persons with milder forms of sensitivity to
chicken eggs, and feathers, including positive allergy skin tests,
do not indicate a sensitivity to vaccines grown on avian tissue.
Persons "without anaphylactic symptoms may be given the vaccines
for measles, mumps, influenza and yellow fever".
The Function of the Egg in
The egg serves to emulsify the water and melted fat. (An emulsion
is formed when small drops of one liquid are finely distributed
in another liquid. The drops are held in suspension by an
emulsifying agent - in this case, egg - which surrounds each drop
and acts as a coating).
Egg serves as a thickener: the protein forms a network which
entraps the liquid, making it immobile.
Egg is used to ensure that there is adequate incorporation of small
air bubbles and greater dispersion of fat globules; these processes
make products smooth and fluffy.
Mayonnaise and Salad Dressings
Egg is used to emulsify: egg surrounds the oil droplets, preventing
them from merging and forming larger droplets. Without the
egg, the oil separates from other ingredients.
The beaten egg in this products serve to incorporate air into batters
and doughs. Egg adds structure to baked items like muffins
and popovers. Products without egg tend to crumble easily
and fail to rise to normal levels (this compactness changes the
texture of a product).
Shortened Cakes, Sponge and Angel Cakes
Egg is used to provide structure, to incorporate air, and to emulsify.
Products without egg will be compact, crumbly, and batters are likely
to separate, making products gummy.
Many yeast breads are made without eggs. When eggs are included,
products look and taste richer.
Substitutes in Baking and Cooking
1 cup = 250 ml, 1 tsp = 5 ml, 1 tablespoon =
|Type of Substitute
||Type of Product
|Apricots and water. Soak 227 g apricots
in 500 ml (2 C) water overnight. Beat in blender.
Store in refrigerator.
15 ml = 1 egg)
|Adds flavor to product.
|Baking powder and sour cream. 2 ml
baking powder and 125 ml sour cream = 1 egg
||Cookies, spice cakes and chocolate cakes
||Not acceptable in other products.
|Baking powder 5 ml = 1 egg
||Cakes, cookies, quick breads
||Products crumble easily, lack body.
They may be gummy.
|Baking soda and vinegar. 5 ml baking
soda + 5 ml vinegar = 1 egg
||Cookies, white cakes, loaves
||Limit use to recipes calling for one egg.
|Cornstarch 15 ml = 1 egg
||Acts as a thickener.
|Flaxseed and water. Boil gently 15
ml flaxseed and 250 ml cold water. Strain through
||White cakes (where milk is the liquid used).
Pancakes, muffins, cookies.
||Is clear and tasteless. Products
are moist and have good texture. If recipe calls for 2-3
eggs, this replacement will make product too moist. Cannot
be used to make angel food cakes.
|Flour, baking powder and shortening.
50 ml flour + 5 ml baking powder + 15 ml shortening = 1 egg
||Unacceptable in short cakes.
|Mashed banana. On average size = one egg
||Cakes, muffins, quick breads
||Adds flavor to product. Product may be
|Vinegar. 15 ml = 1 egg
||Products will stale quickly, use within
four days. Freeze until used.
|Jolly Joan Egg Replaces, Kingsmill, Ener-G
||Mayonnaise, Custard fillings, baked goods.
||Not for angel food or chiffon cakes.
May give unacceptable flavour.
Egg Free Food Sources
Remember -- ingredients change. Always
check the label! If in doubt, avoid it!
|Type of Foods
||Foods to Avoid
||All plain drinks, cocoa, tea and coffee
(unless clarified with egg); fresh, frozen and canned fruit
||Wine and coffee clarified with egg white
or egg shell; root beer that has egg added to produce foam;
Ovaltine and Ovomalt; prepared mixes or drinks that contain
egg or are make from powders that contain egg, egg powder, dried
egg or albumin.
||Ry-Krisp, plain crackers; corn pone; beaten
biscuits; watch for products brushed with egg white.
||Muffins, griddle cakes, waffles, gingerbreads,
doughnuts, and fancy breads; commercial breads and rolls that
contain egg or are brushed with egg white; prepared mixes for
the above mentioned items + breads and rolls - unless labelled
||Those which use egg-free breading mixtures;
those which use the crumbs of egg-free breads.
||Foods that have been dipped in egg; any
breading mixture that contains egg.
||Barley, cornmeal, hominy, rice and tapioca
prepared without egg; any breakfast cereal.
||Plan and fruit flavoured gelatins; blancmange
without egg; ices, mousse; plain rennet.
||Bavarian creams, blancmange, puddings,
stirred and baked custards, fritters, cakes, cookies, macaroons
and pastries; meringues and whips; pie fillings such as lemon,
coconut cream, and pumpkin; frostings, icings, ice cream, and
sherbets; pretzels and marshmallows; unless prepared at home
or from an egg-free mix
|EGG AND EGG DISHES
||Not in any form
|FATS AND SALAD DRESSINGS
||Butters and margarines; oils and fats from
meats, poultry, and vegetables; French Dressing without
egg, oil and vinegar dressing
||Avoid all except true French Dressing.
|MEATS, POULTRY, GAME, FISH, SEAFOOD
||All except those listed under foods to
||Sausages, coquettes and by-product loaves,
any meant in which egg is used as a binder; meat casings may
||Dried peans, beans, lentils, cheese, nuts
and peanut butter
|SAUCES AND GRAVIES
||Cream, white tomato, vegetable soups prepared
without egg or ingredients that contain egg such as egg noodles.
||Mock turtle, alphabet, and egg noodle;
brutish and bouillon's; consommés clarified with egg;
canned and dehydrated soups containing egg.
||Brown, granulated, powdered and icing sugars;
honey, molasses, sorghum, and syrups; jellies, jams, marmalades,
preserves; some hard candy and clear candy
||Divinities and soft candy; commercial candy
brushed with egg white to give lustre.
|VEGETABLES AND FRUITS
||Popcorn, sesame and sunflower seeds; olives;
chili powder, condiments, flavourings(?), extracts, herbs, spices,
and salt; brewer's yeast; pastas made without egg. Magic
||French toast, timbales; batters for "french
frying"; glazes, dumplings; some medications, pitted dates may
be coated with egg yolk. Baking powders containing egg.
Reference; Red Deer Health Unit, "Egg
Information Sheet". Allergy Foundation of Canada, A
Guide to Living with Egg Allergy.
Revised October 1987.
of Use: The information
on this site does not constitute medical advice and is for your
general information only. We cannot be held responsible for anything
you could possibly do or say because of information on this site.
Consult your family physician or allergist for specific questions