Eggs are laid by female animals of many different kinds of species and have been eaten by humans for millennia. The most popular and well known choice for consuming eggs around the world are chicken eggs, which have the eggshell, egg white and egg yolk that most people think of went they imagine eggs. Other popular eggs that are consumed are from other birds or even fish, such as quail's eggs or caviar, respectively. For processed egg products, however, we will be focused on eggs from poultry, and specifically chickens' eggs. These processed egg products may involve the egg yolks and/or whites, as well as the shells themselves.
The Process of Exporting Processed Egg Products
There are four main ways that poultry is raised to produce eggs. These are by organic, free-range, yarding, and battery cage methods. In the organic method poultry is fully free-range and is based upon restrictions on the use of synthetic yolk colorants, food additives, medications and lower stocking density. Poultry is also not routinely beak trimmed. In the free-range method poultry are allowed to roam freely for a period of the day and are then kept in sheds at night. In free-range some use beak trimming to try prevent feather pecking due to the high stocking density of the poultry. Yarding is a method of raising poultry in which they are raised with cows. In yarding, the poultry are released from their coops and have a fenced in yard area that can walk in. The poultry lays their eggs inside the coop. In the battery cage method, which is they way the majority of egg laying poultry are raised, the poultry lives in groups of three to eight in small metal cages indoors. The floor of the cages are made with sloped wired mesh to let the eggs that are laid roll onto a conveyor belt. Light intensity is kept low inside and beak trimming is done to prevent feather pecking and vent pecking. The poultry do not have a lot of room inside the cages, which can lead to abnormal behaviors.
Depending on the method of egg farming the eggs are either gathered up and transported by truck to a factory to be processed or egg production takes place right next to the factory so that eggs automatically go from being produced to being processed. The factories that make egg products are called breaker plants. The eggs have their shells broken by a machine and are them put through the pasteurizing processes to become farther processed in the way that a normal egg would be. Then the eggs go through washing, sanitizing, cooling, drying and are then packaged. This is if the egg product is in the form of the whole egg, if the egg products is intended to be whites or yolks there are some extra steps. If the eggs are going to be used for whites are yolks then the eggs are broken after the sanitizing process and the whites and yolks are separated. Then the liquid egg white or yolk is filtered and may be mixed with other ingredients. Then it is chilled and under goes being heat in dried form. After this it is packaged.
If the egg product is in dried, dehydrated or frozen form it is packed in either pouches, packs, boxes, pails, cans or drums depending on the size, weight and purpose of the product. The egg product in this form is shipped by either truck, plane or freighter. If the egg product is in liquid form then it must be shipped in sanitary tank trucks or refrigerated container by boat or plane to ensure that it is kept at a temperature of 40º Fahrenheit (4º Celsius) or less. Liquid egg product can come in bags, cartons, cans or in bulk totes.
Processed egg product has a variety of uses including being pre-peeled eggs, pre-peeled hard-boiled eggs and as freeze-dried scrambled eggs. Processed egg product also comes as a variety of frozen products, such as precooked fried eggs, precooked scrambled eggs, omelets, french toast, and quiche. Egg products are also used in as ingredients in a wide variety of other products, including ice cream, frozen yogurt and mayonnaise.
Importers of Processed Egg Products
According to the Observatory of Economic Complexity (OEC) the world's top importer of processed egg products is Germany, who importers 15% of the world's processed egg product. The countries that round out the rest of the world's top five importers of processed egg products are the United Kingdom (12%), Japan (6.5%), France (6.3%) and Belgium-Luxembourg (4.6%). The world's top importers in regions of the world not listed above are Mexico (3.0%) in North America, Australia (0.73%) in Oceania, Chile (0.42%) in South America, and Egypt (0.36%) in Africa.