Why separate whites and yolks when baking...and should you limit the number of eggs you eat?

This article was posted by Anonymous (not verified) on November 11th, 2010

These great questions were recently posted by Jeff on our Facebook fan page. Thanks, Jeff!

Why when you make a cake do you separate the whites from the yokes?...and why limit the number of eggs per week if they're so good and harmless for you?

Separating whites and yolks in baking It's not always necessary to separate the yolks and whites when making a cake, but when you're asked to do this in a recipe, it's because the individual characteristics of the yolks and whites are required in order to make that particular cake. Egg yolks and whites excel at doing different things! For example, eggs are often used in baking to create volume or to help baked goods rise. Egg whites on their own can be beaten to a greater volume than if you beat whole eggs or just the yolks, so if you want a cake that rises well, the recipe may ask you to beat the whites separately. Egg whites also help to dry or crisp foods. They might be used instead of the whole egg if this characteristic is needed in a recipe (for example, if you're making a meringue cake or cream puffs).  On the other hand, yolks tend to add moisture. They also help ingredients blend together and thicken, and they create smooth, rich textures. Sometimes they're incorporated with other ingredients in a recipe in order to take advantage of their ability to do one or more of these things. 

Is it necessary to limit the number of eggs you eat? Canada's Food Guide to Healthy Eating does not limit the number of eggs that can be eaten. Current research shows that eggs are a healthy, nutritious food that contains high-quality protein and numerous other essential vitamins and minerals, and can be part of balanced diet. The number of eggs you eat is an individual decision that depends on your current state of health, food preferences and lifestyle. Canada's Food Guide recommends we should eat a variety of different foods from each food group every day. According to the Guide, 2 eggs = 1 serving from the Meat and Alternatives food group.