Egg white

Egg white is the clear liquid (also called the albumen or the glair/glaire) contained within an egg. In chickens it is formed from the layers of secretions of the anterior section of the hen's oviduct during the passage of the egg.[1] It forms around fertilized or unfertilized egg yolks. The primary natural purpose of egg white is to protect the yolk and provide additional nutrition for the growth of the embryo (when fertilized).Egg white consists primarily of about 90% water into which is dissolved about 10% proteins (including albumins, mucoproteins, and globulins). Unlike the yolk, which is high in lipids (fats), egg white contains almost no fat, and carbohydrate content is less than 1%. Egg whites contain about 56% of the protein in the egg. Egg white has many uses in food (e.g. meringue, mousse) and also many other uses (e.g. in the preparation of vaccines such as those for influenza[2]).


Egg white makes up around two-thirds of a chicken egg by weight. Water constitutes about 90% of this, with protein, trace minerals, fatty material, vitamins, and glucose contributing the remainder.[3] A raw U.S. large egg contains around 33 grams of egg white with 3.6 grams of protein, 0.24 grams of carbohydrate and 55 milligrams of sodium. It contains no cholesterol and the energy content is about 17 Calories.[3] Egg white is an alkaline solution and contains around 148 proteins.[4] The table below lists the major proteins in egg whites by percentage and their natural functions.[3][5]

Protein Abundance
Ovalbumin 54%
Ovotransferrin 12%
Ovomucoid 11%
Ovoglobulin G2 4%
Ovoglobulin G3 4%
Ovomucin 3.5%
Lysozyme 3.4%
Ovoinhibitor 1.5%
Ovoglycoprotein 1%
Flavoprotein 0.8%
Ovomacroglobulin 0.5%
Avidin 0.05%
Cystatin 0.05%

Ovalbumin is the most abundant protein in albumen. Classed as phosphoglycoprotein, during storage, it converts into s-ovalbumin (5% at the time of laying) and can reach up to 80% after six months of cold storage. Ovalbumin in solution is heat-resistant. Denaturation temperature is around 84°C, but it can be easily denatured by physical stresses. Conalbumin/ovotransferrin is a glycoprotein which has the capacity to bind the bi- and trivalent metal cations into a complex and is more heat sensitive than ovalbumin. At its isoelectric pH (6.5), it can bind two cations and assume a red or yellow color. These metal complexes are more heat stable than the native state. Ovomucoid is the major allergen from egg white and is a heat-resistant glycoprotein found to be a trypsin inhibitor. Lysozyme is a holoprotein which can lyse the wall of certain Gram-positive bacteria and is found at high levels in the chalaziferous layer and the chalazae which anchor the yolk towards the middle of the egg. Ovomucin is a glycoprotein which may contribute to the gel-like structure of thick albumen. The amount of ovomucin in the thick albumen is four times greater than in the thin albumen.

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català: Clara d'ou
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