Pasteurized eggs are healthy, safe

Pasteurized eggs are healthy, safe

My favorite cake frosting recipe calls for adding a raw egg that is not cooked. The egg improves the smooth and creamy texture of the icing that my family absolutely loves. I use pasteurized eggs to be safe from Salmonella and E. coli.

A reader contacted me concerning the availability of pasteurized eggs. I recommended this treatment for eggs since the frosting recipe is not heated to a safe temperature. She had trouble finding pasteurized eggs at the grocery store.

All liquid eggs are pasteurized. They are usually purchased in a frozen milk-like container. This is a common method used to eliminate or reduce the number of viable, possibly harmful bacteria. It is a process in which liquid egg products are heated at below boiling to kill vegetative microbial cells.

Pasteurized liquid eggs go through similar processes as raw milk. These eggs are safe to consume without cooking. Let me repeat, they can safely be swallowed directly from the carton.

Liquid eggs can be used instead of whole eggs in almost any recipe. The conversion is three to four tablespoons to one large egg. There is the equivalent of one and a half dozen eggs in a two-pound carton.

Some varieties include only egg whites, and some are a mixture of both whites and yolks. Frozen egg products became popular in the 1970s when cholesterol from saturated animal fats was considered the ultimate bad guy in the fight against heart disease. Research now reports different findings.

In the past, it seemed logical that eggs would be harmful because of the cholesterol in the egg yolk. Scientists at Harvard University state that a daily egg, either shell or liquid, does not increase your risk of a heart attack, stroke or any other type of cardiovascular disease.

It has been discovered that most of the cholesterol in our body is made by the liver. It does not come from the cholesterol we consume. Our liver is stimulated to make cholesterol from all the saturated and trans fats we eat, not dietary cholesterol.

A large egg contains very little saturated fat, about one and a half grams. On the other hand, research has confirmed that eggs contain many healthy nutrients. Antioxidants found in carotenoids, lutein and zeaxanthin help to protect the eyes. Choline is good for the brain and nerves. Various vitamins, A, B and D, add to the recommended daily allowance. And these are just a few benefits. One egg also contains about six grams of protein and just 72 calories.

The American Heart Association reports that those who ate an average of one egg per day had a 28% lower risk of death from stroke and an 18% lower risk of death from heart disease. One explanation might be that eggs also contain heart-healthy nutrients, such as folate and omega-3 fatty acids.

Common ways of cooking eggs include boiling, poaching, scrambling or frying. Liquid pasteurized eggs from a carton can be added to smoothies or eggnog without the risk of a foodborne illness. Email me if you want my frosting recipe.

Bobbie Randall is a Registered, Licensed Dietitian. Contact her at

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