Using aquafaba?

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Feb 1 2016

Aquafaba Science

If you are looking for nutritional information, please see our new nutrition page.

Aquafaba is unique among egg replacers in that it captures some but not all of the characteristics of both egg white and yolk. It can be used as a thickener, binder, emulsifier, foaming agent, and more. Unlike protein isolates and starch-based egg replacers, this broad spectrum allows aquafaba to be used in applications where its superior organoleptic properties are needed, and where traditional albumen falls short.

Thanks to a recent analysis by The Norwegian food research institute, we now know that it is primary composed of starches and proteins, with other interesting components that remain to be discovered. Methods of analysis included FT-IR spectroscopy, starch analysis with enzymatic kit, and HPAEC-PAD. The resuls found free sugars, and suggest that galactose may play a role. Additionally, the analysis found no evidence for lipids and the amount of digestible carbohydrates is minimal.

An analysis of saponins was performed by BioProfile Testing Laboratories, as as possible mechanism for aquafaba's foaming action. The analysis showed that a typical 180g (3/4 cup) of aquafaba contains less than three hundreds of a percent of saponins. This implies that the foaming action of aquafaba is only partially influenced by saponins, if at all.

Gelling is another area of interest. Due to the high starch content in aquafaba, and perhaps other polymers, there are conditions where aquafaba can be made to form stable gels. This, too, may play a role in aquafaba's egg white emulating properties and presents opportunites for additional recipe experimentation.

Starch and protein fractions play an enormous role, but we are still far from a thorough understanding of the composition of aquafaba and its behaviors. If you want to see more investigation, find out additional nutritive (or anti-nutritive) content, please consider donating or purchasing from our shop to fund more specific open source analysis. All proceeds from ads on this page, the shops, and the donations go towards aquafaba analysis, and they are released back to the community with a free and open creative commons license.