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(In the United States,) Keebler chocolate-chip cookies list egg as an ingredient. But they list it after salt, meaning that the amount of egg in the product is less than (well, not more than) the amount of salt. From the sodium content one can figure out that the amount of salt is not more than about five-sixth of a percent (or less than four grams per pound of cookies), so the amount of egg is also not more than that.

Why would they put in such a small quantity of egg? What does adding that small amount of egg do for the cookies, that they couldn't leave it out?

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Could it be that they're warning people with food allergy? They might not add it but fear that food is "contaminated". –  johnny May 23 '11 at 7:53
    
@johnny, I thought of that, but then presumably egg would be listed last, whereas in fact it's listed before, for example, baking soda. (See the link in the question.) –  msh210 May 23 '11 at 7:56
    
@johnny : they'd typically list that as 'made in a facility that processes (x)' or 'on a line that also processes (x)'. My thought is that it might not be a direct ingredient, but pre-combined with something else ... but then I saw it was chocolate chip cookies, and I can't think of anything other than the chocolate chips that'd be added as a separate ingredient. (and I can't look at the image to see if the chips are listed separately, as I'm getting an error when following the link ... but I don't think there's eggs in chocolate chips) –  Joe May 23 '11 at 11:26
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related : cooking.stackexchange.com/questions/6352/… –  Joe May 23 '11 at 11:28
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@Joe: One of the ingredients is "semisweet chocolate (chocolate, sugar, dextrose, soy lecithin, artificial flavor)". I assume that accounts for the chips. –  msh210 May 23 '11 at 14:44
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up vote 11 down vote accepted

One thing to keep in mind is that they are in the "Contains 2% or less" section, which means they are exempt from the "descending order requirement". So all we know is that they are less that 2% of the total weight. I just looked at one typical chocolate chip cookie recipe that gave weights in grams, and it was 8% eggs by weight (114 grams out of 1419). So 2% isn't totally off the map - it probably is still enough to provide some binding and richness.

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Ah, thanks. I didn't know that in the under-2% list the order doesn't matter. –  msh210 May 23 '11 at 15:33
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Egg yolks are powerful emulsifiers, which probably plays into the recipe as well, especially for industrially produced cookies. –  Barry May 26 '11 at 15:04
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