Egg white characteristics

Egg white function

What is an egg white?

It is the colorless part of an egg, with a viscous texture in their raw state. In the same way as it happens to the egg yolk, when subjected to a high temperature, it becomes harder.  

Furthermore, if subjected to friction by means of beating it, it can increase its volume to four times, constituting what is known as “whipped egg whites“.

The egg white constitutes approximately 60% of the volume of an egg. 

What is the function of an egg white within an egg?


Photo of raw egg white surrounding the egg yolk. In a fresh egg, egg white is colorless, sticky and consistent 

The egg white has two functions:

  • To protect the egg yolk from infections and external contamination of bacteria and other pathogens that may deteriorate it.
  • To provide additional nutrients to the embryo to which the egg yolk makes a greater contribution.

What are the components of an egg white?

An egg white essentially contains water and protein, mostly albumin plus other proteins in lesser amount.

The proteins in the egg white provide 8 essential amino acids

Why does an egg white becomes hard when cooked?

Because heat causes egg white proteins change their structure making it harder.

Properties of cooked white egg are also different to those of raw one, since proteins become more digestive and also because some antinutrients are eliminated. Antinutrients in the egg white prevent the vitamin B8 or biotin from being properly absorbed.

Cooked egg white

Cooked egg white

Who should eat egg white?

Egg whites are food especially important for those who want to eat protein without eating extra fat as people who wish to boost their the muscles, obese people, people who perform weight loss diets, etc.

Having no cholesterol, egg white is used as food for people who have their levels of cholesterol high, but they want to eat egg proteins.

However, it should be noted that the food value of egg white is much lower than that of the whole egg or egg yolk, so, if you do not want to eat the whole eggs or egg yolks, you will be involved to take into consideration other foods that could provide the necessary nutrients that discarded egg does not provide.

What are whipped egg whites?

Whiipped egg white

Photo of egg white. Note the bubbles formed by the air introduced into the egg white during whipping.

Whipped egg whites are raw eggs that have undergone a process of beating. By doing this, egg whites have changed its texture because this process mixes air into the whipped egg whites. (More information on how to beat the egg whites)

*Related information:

Egg yolk characteristics

Egg shell

Eggshell properties

Eggshell decoration

Egg white properties

punto rojo More information on eggs.

This article was endorsed by Elisenda Carballido - Dietitian nutritionist. Postgraduate in Phytotherapy and master in Nutrition and Metabolism.
Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

19 December, 2022

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