According to a recent report from Oakland Innovation, upcycling food waste products is an area ‘ripe for innovation’.
Indeed, the process – whereby waste streams are converted into new consumer products or ingredients for human consumption – has attracted significant attention of late. The urge to combat food waste is often behind innovation in the sector, as businesses seek to act sustainably, while increasing profit.
As Oakland Innovation’s report points out, Marmite may well be the best-known upcycled product on the market, but other noteworthy examples include Planetarians’ plant-based protein made from defatted sunflower seeds, The Coffee Cherry Co.’s high fibre food ingredient made from coffee cherries, and French start-up Linnolat’s vegan alternative to milk and white chocolate made from defatted nuts and seeds.
Dutch business DEPP B.V. is also taking a crack at upcycling side streams into ingredients for food products, with an innovation made from chicken eggshell membrane.
Hatching an idea
Eggbrane is produced by separating the membrane from eggshells of fresh hens’ eggs.
Eggshells are regarded a food waste product in egg production. When not crushed into animal feed, as a source of calcium, the shells are discarded, a DEPP spokesperson told FoodNavigator. “It is the egg white and yolk that is used in food processing, for example in bakery.”
By mildly processing the eggshell membrane into a powder, without the use of chemicals or additives, DEPP says it is creating ‘an example of sustainable side stream valorisation’. The pure eggshell membrane is further processed, without the use of heat treatment.
“The advantage of this unique production method is that the original characteristics and the quality of proteins, collagen, hyaluronic acid, and other components are preserved,” noted the company.
“These ingredients are known to contribute to the maintenance and regeneration of cartilage and bone.”
Cracking long-lasting joint pain
Eggbrane, produced using patented processing technology, is designed to alleviate joint stiffness and pain.
By 2050, it is estimated that joint disease disorders, including osteoarthritis, will impact at least 130m people worldwide. Most, according to DEPP, will resort to paint management, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
A recent study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food, funded by DEPP, has confirmed that eggshell membrane powder – according to self-reported pain scores – does effectively relieve long-lasting joint pain.
Researchers conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention study for 150 participants aged between 40 and 75 years. Over the course of 12 weeks, 75 participants were given capsules that contained 300mg of eggshell membrane, and 75 received a placebo.
According to respondents’ self-reported pain scores, noted after six and 12 weeks, eggshell membrane – contrary to the placebo – successfully reduced knee osteoarthritis pain and improved daily functioning.
“The results were significant and started within one week after the start of the treatment,” noted DEPP.
Eggbrane for bars and bakery
DEPP is targeting both the supplements and food industry with Eggbrane. “There is increasing interest in the ingredient from the food industry,” a company spokesperson told this publication.
“It rides on the overall trend of fortifying foods, rather than taking supplements – such as pills or tablets.”
As an insoluble powder, DEPP recommends Eggbrane be used in products such as bars, or in bakery applications.
Concerning Eggbrane’s effect on taste, texture, and mouthfeel, the spokesperson said Eggbrane has a ‘neutral taste’. While there is not a lot of application experience available yet, DEPP said data from applications in bars show that fortifying at the required biological active level (300mg/serving) does not affect taste, texture, or mouthfeel. “Liquid applications will be explored.”
Source: Journal of Medicinal Food
‘Mildly Processed Natural Eggshell Membrane Alleviates Joint Pain Associated with Osteoarthritis of the Knee: A Randomized Double-Blind Placebo-Controlled Study’
Published online 2 July 2020
Authors: Jeroen Lucas Kiers and Johannes Hendrikus Franciscus Bult
This study was funded by DEPP B.V.