Do Egg Whites Expire?: 10 Undeniable Reasons

Eggs are a staple in most households, with egg whites often being a go-to for fitness enthusiasts looking for a low-fat, high-protein option. 

But have you ever wondered do egg whites expire? While most of us assume that they have an indefinite shelf life, there are actually some undeniable reasons why egg whites can go bad.

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the question, “Do egg whites expire?“, and explore 10 reasons why they might not be as eternal as we thought. Keep reading to find out more!

How Long Do Egg Whites Last?

Egg whites will typically last up to 2-4 days in the fridge when stored properly in an airtight container. However, they can last longer if they are pasteurized or stored in the freezer.

If stored in the freezer, egg whites can last up to 12 months without significant degradation in quality. It is important to store them in an airtight container or freezer bag to prevent freezer burn.

Do egg whites expire or go bad? 10 Undeniable Reasons

1. Exposure to Air: Egg whites are known to spoil quickly when exposed to air, as they contain high amounts of protein which are prone to bacterial contamination.

2. Bacterial Growth: As mentioned, egg whites contain a high amount of protein, which is an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive and multiply, especially when stored at room temperature.

3. Contamination of Egg Shell: The outside of an eggshell is susceptible to contamination from bacteria, feces or dirt. If the eggshell is not properly cleaned before cracking, these contaminants can easily make their way into the egg white and cause it to spoil.

4. Time: Like most food items, egg whites also have a limited shelf life. Over time, the proteins in the egg white start to break down, leading to an unpleasant smell and taste.

5. Presence of Yolk: Egg yolks carry a higher risk of spoilage compared to egg whites. If some yolk accidentally mixes with the egg white, it can spoil the entire batch quickly.

6. Improper Storage: If egg whites are not stored in the refrigerator or at a temperature below 40°F, they can spoil quickly due to the warm and moist environment, which promotes bacterial growth.

7. Cross-Contamination: If contaminated utensils, cutting boards or surfaces come in contact with egg whites, they can introduce harmful bacteria and cause them to spoil.

8. Defects in Shell: Sometimes, eggs can have invisible cracks or defects in the shell, which can allow bacteria to enter the egg, causing the egg white to spoil.

9. Old Eggs: If egg whites are made from old eggs, they are more likely to spoil quickly as the overall quality of the egg deteriorates over time.

10. Not Sealed or Covered Properly: If egg whites are not sealed or covered tightly, they can easily absorb odors and flavors from other foods in the fridge, which can make them go bad faster.

Can You Freeze Egg Whites?

Yes, you can freeze egg whites. Egg whites can be safely stored in the freezer for up to 12 months.

How Should You Store Egg Whites? step by step guide

1. Gather materials: You will need a clean bowl, a whisk or electric mixer, a measuring cup, airtight containers, and a marker for labeling.

2. Separate the eggs: Start by separating the egg whites from the yolks. Crack an egg into a clean bowl, making sure not to puncture the yolk. Then, use your clean hands to carefully transfer the yolk back and forth between the two eggshell halves, allowing the egg whites to drip into the bowl below. Once all the whites have been separated, transfer them into a clean, dry bowl.

3. Rinse and dry the bowl: To ensure that your egg whites whip up properly, make sure that the bowl you will be using is clean and dry. Any remnants of fat or moisture can prevent the whites from reaching their full volume.

4. Whisk or beat the whites: Use a whisk or electric mixer to beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. This will help to incorporate air into the whites and create a lighter and fluffier texture.

5. Measure the whites: Once you have beaten the whites, measure them with a measuring cup. This will help you to determine the volume of whites you have and how much storage space you will need.

6. Divide into containers: Depending on the amount of egg whites you have, you can either store them in one large container or divide them into smaller individual containers. Make sure that the containers are airtight to prevent any moisture from getting in.

7. Label the containers: Use a marker to label the containers with the date and the amount of egg whites in each container. This will help you keep track of how long your egg whites have been stored and how much you have remaining.

8. Store in the refrigerator or freezer: Egg whites can be stored in the refrigerator for up to four days. If you want to store them for a longer period, you can freeze them for up to 12 months. If you choose to freeze them, make sure to thaw them in the refrigerator before using them.

9. Use within the recommended time frame: It is important to note that egg whites should be used within the recommended time frame for optimal freshness and safety. If your egg whites have any off smells or colors, discard them immediately.

10. Clean up: Make sure to clean up any spills or messes that may have occurred during the process of storing the egg whites. Proper cleaning and hygiene are crucial when dealing with raw eggs to prevent any potential foodborne illnesses. 

Will Bad Egg Whites Get You Sick?

It depends on various factors such as the storage and handling of the eggs, the freshness of the eggs, and whether they contain any bacteria or contaminants. 

Generally, consuming bad egg whites may increase the risk of food poisoning, resulting in symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and stomach cramps. It is always recommended to check the freshness of eggs before consuming and to properly cook the eggs to kill any harmful bacteria.

What happens when you eat a frozen egg white or an expired egg?

Eating a frozen egg white is not recommended as it may cause digestive discomfort or even food poisoning. When eggs are frozen, ice crystals can form within the egg, causing the physical structure to change and potentially altering the taste and texture of the egg white. Additionally, if the egg is not frozen properly or thawed incorrectly, it may have harmful bacteria that can cause illness. It is best to thaw eggs in the refrigerator overnight before consuming them.

What can I do with leftover egg whites?

1. Make meringues or pavlova: Use egg whites to whip up light and airy meringues, or use them as a base for a delicious pavlova dessert.

2. Make angel food cake: Angel food cake is made entirely from egg whites and is a light and fluffy dessert that is perfect for using up leftover whites.

3. Use them in cocktails: Many cocktails call for egg whites to add a foamy texture, such as in a classic whiskey sour or gin fizz.

4. Add to breakfast dishes: Use leftover egg whites to make a healthier version of an omelet or scrambled eggs. You can also whip them up to make a breakfast frittata or bake them in muffin tins with vegetables and cheese for mini frittatas.

5. Make macarons: Macarons are a delicate and sophisticated dessert that uses leftover egg whites as the main ingredient for the cookie shells.

do egg whites cause salmonella infection

Egg whites can cause salmonella infection if consumed raw or undercooked. Properly cooking eggs can help prevent this foodborne illness.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the expiration of egg whites is a common concern for many people, but it is important to remember that they do have a limited shelf life. From potential bacteria growth to changes in taste and texture, there are undeniable reasons why egg whites do expire. However, by understanding proper storage techniques and paying attention to expiration dates, we can ensure the safety and quality of our food. Additionally, incorporating egg whites into our diet has numerous health benefits, such as being a low-fat source of protein. So don’t be afraid to utilize egg whites in your recipes, but always be mindful of their expiration date and store them properly to avoid any negative consequences. 

Egg beaters vs liquid egg white

Egg beaters and liquid egg whites are both popular alternatives to using whole eggs in cooking and baking. Egg beaters are a blend of real egg whites and other natural ingredients, while liquid egg whites are simply the egg white portion of the egg. They both offer a low-fat, cholesterol-free option for those looking to cut down on calories and fat in their diet.

fresh egg vs hard boiled egg

Fresh eggs have a creamy, rich yolk and firm, bouncy whites, while hard boiled eggs have a completely set yolk and firm, smooth whites.

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