Twice now in the past 15 years has Singapore made a push for liquid eggs. This is partly due to their attempts to become less reliant on food imports. However, it seems that their plans have failed to turn sunny-side up. Low demand over the years have led supermarkets and grocers to not even stock the product on their shelves.
Liquid eggs essentially come from shell eggs. After they are broken, the eggs are visually checked, filtered and stored in chiller tanks. Later, they are pasteurised to destroy pathogens and viruses before being packaged and chilled. Liquid eggs go through a rigorous process of tests and quality control before they are certified safe for delivery. The extra effort often results in a pricier product compared to shell eggs.
As reported by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), Singapore imported 73 per cent of its eggs from Malaysia, and less than 1 per cent from accredited farms in Australia, Japan, New Zealand and Thailand. Farms here produce the rest of the eggs.
Concerns arose when Malaysian Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Saifuddin Nasution Ismail said that the country may limit or stop the export of eggs to Singapore to ensure ample supply for its domestic market.
This issue of food security has reaffirmed Singapore’s belief in finding alternative sources of food.
The first push for liquid eggs came in 2004; when the AVA tried to get Singaporean consumers to embrace liquid and powder eggs in the wake of the avian influenza outbreak in 2004. Six years later in 2010, it launched a five-year campaign to raise awareness about liquid and powder eggs. This event ended in 2014 with limited success. The AVA reports that consumers were naturally drawn to shell eggs whenever they were available.
While liquid eggs have failed to capture the heart of consumers, a spokesperson from Singapore egg producer N&N Agriculture stated that liquid eggs are mainly bought by food manufacturers to make items such as noodles and pastries, as well as by restaurants, cafes and hotels, which use them in dishes such as scrambled eggs, omelettes and baked goods.
The AVA’s efforts to encourage the food industry to use liquid eggs are still ongoing. In the meantime, Singapore has continued to diversify it’s import sources in order to avoid any unnecessary shortages.