I found some pasteurized and homogenized eggs in my local grocery store. The ingredients statement says they contain sodium phosphate, citric acid and nisin. What are these ingredients? Are they chemicals or natural?
Well the answer is both yes and no.
Sodium phosphate is a chemical that helps keep the
proteins from coagulating. It is natural in that it is
found in many mineral formations, but most of what is
used today is produced in more controlled conditions.
Citrate is a microbial inhibitor and also part of
the protein stabilizing system. It too is natural in
that it occurs in nature in many forms. Most of the
material used in industrial formulations is made by
“submerged culture” using microorganisms.
Nisin is a naturally occurring antimicrobial protein (an antibiotic). It is produced by various bacteria, most commonly Lactococcus lactis. It is a natural component of most cheeses and yogurt. Commercial nisin is made using processes similar to those for citric acid.
Source: Douglas Holt, Ph.D., Chair
of Food Science Program & State Extension Specialist for
Food Safety, University of Missouri-Columbia
Last update: Tuesday, May 05, 2009