Powdered egg is emblematic of all that was was ghastly and difficult about cooking during WWII. At least in Britain, but perhaps also in other countries during that period.

Supposedly it was pretty vile stuff.

Since actual eggs are fairly easy and economical to produce, and store well, I'm wondering what it is about a powdered egg which makes it a better choice than an actual egg in a time of scarcity for a nation at war.

Did it transport better? Or was it just that actual eggs were bulked out (with what, cereals?) to produce the powdered egg, so as to make eggs go further?

2 Answers 2


From the Wikipedia article on Powdered eggs:

Powdered eggs are fully dehydrated eggs. They are made in a spray dryer in the same way that powdered milk is made. The major advantages of powdered eggs over fresh eggs are the price, reduced weight per volume of whole egg equivalent, and the shelf life (which, when properly sealed, can be 5 to 10 years). Other advantages include smaller usage of storage space, and lack of need for refrigeration. Powdered eggs also have fewer calories and more nutritional value than normal eggs, which suggests that powdered eggs could have been fortified. In powdered eggs, there are 13 different folates and essential vitamins. Powdered eggs can be used without rehydration when baking, and can be rehydrated to make dishes such as scrambled eggs and omelettes. Powdered eggs were used throughout the Second World War for rationing and were widely used during wartime shortages. Powdered Eggs are also known as Dried Eggs.

Powdered eggs lasted longer, were easier to transport and store, and packed a greater nutritional punch than whole eggs.

  • There's a wiki just on powdered eggs? I could see one just on eggs, but just on powdered eggs seems kinda narrowly focused to me.
    – Joe
    Aug 14, 2010 at 2:24
  • 1
    I had the same thought. It's a Wikipedia article. Aug 14, 2010 at 4:13

Since actual eggs are fairly easy and economical to produce and store well...

In wartime conditions? It took weeks (or months, in the Pacific) for supplies to reach the front lines, across bumpy or nonexistent roads and with no refrigeration capacity. You'd be mad to rely on perishable food - especially fragile ones! - in such conditions.

  • Talking about the home front. Aug 29, 2010 at 22:37
  • Same issues probably apply - bombed out roads, power losses preventing refrigeration, transport more in a single truck. I imagine a lot of the powdered eggs in Britain came from the US via ship, which adds extra problems for fresh ones. Plus, imagine if you dropped your week's ration of real eggs on the way home.
    – ceejayoz
    Aug 30, 2010 at 15:12

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