Eggshell membrane a 'high potential' ingredient for healthy boost

By Oliver Morrison

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages / Roberto
© GettyImages / Roberto

Related tags Egg products Calcium

A report notes the ‘umpteen benefits associated with powdered eggshell membrane’ and identifies it as a growth area in the food and beverage sector, where its potential uses span bakery and prepared food categories.

The eggshell membrane powder market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13% over the next 10 years, according to a report from data company Future Market Insights.

Global eggshell powder consumption volume in 2018 was 8,657 million, according the report. This is predicted to rise 6% year-on-year in 2019, thanks to the lauded health benefits of eggshell membrane power and its recant approval as a ‘novel food’ across the EU.

‘A goldmine of opportunities’

Eggshell membrane mainly consists of protein in the form of collagen and is therefore commonly sold as a supplement in the cosmetics and personal care industry.

But the food and beverage industry is tipped to emerge as a gold mine of opportunities for key market stakeholders through 2029, the FMI report discovered. “With 'food fortification' taking over all other trends in the food and beverages space, the penetration of eggshell membrane powder as an effective ingredient is likely to see a major upturn,” ​it noted.

It added: “With the health and wellness trend spreading its roots across the food and beverages industry, eggshell membrane powder is being embraced as a novel ingredient enhancing the nutritive value of products.”

Eggshell membrane powder is much touted as a high-potential ingredient in functional foods and dietary supplements, on account of its ability to condition and promote joint health, predicted the report.

The use of eggshell membrane powder as a source of dietary calcium, across the food and beverages industry, is gaining significant momentum, it explained, as food and beverage producers have been directing their investments to “naturally-sourced ingredients that promise high value in return​”.

eggshall powder grwoth projection

The eggshell membrane powder market received a fillip last year when the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved the ingredient as novel food. It has the potential to be used in a wide range of recipes across the food sector. 

A 2013 study concluded that some of the best foods to add eggshell powder to are bread, spaghetti, pizza and breaded, fried meat​ as there were small changes in texture and no changes in flavour.

A single eggshell contains 2.07 ± 0.18 g of calcium; therefore half an eggshell could provide the amount of calcium needed by adult human beings per day. Thanks to its high calcium levels, it could also be used in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis.

A 2003 study of postmenopausal women and women​ with senile osteoporosis showed that eggshell powder reduced pain and osteoresorption and increased mobility and bone density or arrests its loss. It claimed that the bioavailability of calcium from this source was similar or better than that of food grade purified calcium carbonate.

Clinical and experimental studies showed that eggshell powder has positive effects on bone and cartilage and that it is suitable in the prevention and treatment of osteoporosis,”​ it said.

A study from 2018 supports the idea eggshell membrane possesses anti-inflammatory and wound-healing properties​. Indeed, some biotech companies are looking at ways of using eggshells to speed up the healing of wounds.

The fine powder derived from eggshell membrane has also depicted positive outcomes for treatment of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases.

“Therapeutic effects of eggshell membrane powder on bowel diseases, which constitute the youngest research findings on eggshell membrane, are further greasing the wheels of adoption. It is now emerging as a viable 'add-on' in supplements that nourish the bowel health​,” the report added.

Waste repurposing trend is also helping the eggshell membrane powder market

FMI's analysis suggested that the trend of 'biowaste repurposing' is gathering considerable pace at a global level, and will contribute to the growing acceptance for eggshell membrane powder across various end-use sectors.

Around 600,000 tonnes of eggshells end up in landfills in the US, while the eggshell waste in European countries is also reaching the massive volume of a million tonnes, according to FMI’s analysis.

The report indicated that the trend of reusing the biowaste as a solution has been a key factor uplifting the growth potential of eggshell membrane powder market in the years to come.

“The umpteen benefits associated with powdered eggshell membrane as a biowaste, use of this natural waste appears to be a promising proposition for multiple industrial domains​,” it stated.

Vegan trend could scupper growth

But the report warned that the rise of trends such as veganism are likely to arrest the adoption of eggshell membrane derivatives to a certain extent, leading to a see-saw market scenario over the forthcoming years.

While this trend is placing the onus on development and commercialization of ethical and plant-based alternatives, it is creating a considerably challenging scenario for the market players to sustain growth in the eggshell derivatives landscape​,” it wrote.

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