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Yesterday I tried making a meringue-based dessert with a recipe I've used successfully a few times before, which calls for 6 egg whites and 1.5 cups of sugar. I made sure to have no egg yolk with the whites, I used a stainless steel bowl and mixer attachment, the eggs were at room temperature - everything to my knowledge that should result in perfect peaks after mixing thoroughly.

After getting everything together though, my first batch of meringue never got past a marshmallow fluff-like thick but somewhat runny consistency. I tried again two more times being very careful to make sure everything was perfectly clean, and ended up with the same results each time.

At this point while cleaning up, I notice the packaging for the eggs stating that they have "25% less saturated fat than regular eggs" eggs, due to a special diet.

Could lower than average fat content in eggs affect getting stiff peaks from a meringue?

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    I think (and I'll look for a source) that nearly all of the fat is in the yolk, which you don't use (hence the whole egg-white omelette fad). Of course it's possible that the fat that's missing from your eggs is the little that's in the white. But are they actually lower fat, or lower saturated fat (replaced by unsaturated)? – Chris H Dec 20 '17 at 16:41
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    By chance, were you using pasteurized eggs? – Cindy Dec 20 '17 at 16:59
  • @Cindy These were the exact ones I bought, I don't believe they were pasteurized. – Question Marks Dec 20 '17 at 17:25
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    In general, fat is the enemy when making the meringue and egg white foams, so on the surface a lower fat egg should be good, though the fat is almost entirely in the yolk anyway. But, I would tend to question what else was done via diet, or as Cindy questioned, possible pasteurization. I would speculate that maybe a pH issue caused via diet, Did you use any pH adjuster such as cream of tartar? Did the whites by any chance seem runny, which might be from diet or might be older than expected egg. If so, this can be an indication the pH may be skewed a bit and need help to form a good foam. – dlb Dec 20 '17 at 18:08
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    @QuestionMarks That seems like plenty of CoT to me to usually fix. I have used a lot of duck eggs which can be a real issue and have had more luck going the other way, using lemon to push to acid but usually pushing either way works unless fat contaminated. Anything I could add would just be speculative but makes me wonder if they altered something else with feed supplements. If you have more, might be worth a try with lemon juice, but might be worth trip to get some farm fresh if you can and use you lower fat ones for other things. – dlb Dec 20 '17 at 18:58
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I would look at the age of the eggs - take a look at the sell by date on the carton.

If the eggs are fresh it takes more whisking to get it to stiffen up, but once there it will hold longer.

If the eggs are older it doesn't take much whisking to get stiff, but you need to not let it sit out for too long or it will get runny and collapse.

You might also look at the temperature. If the eggs were room temp they would act more like older eggs. If the eggs were cold from the fridge they would act more like newer eggs.

Sounds like you did a good job of checking for a clean bowl and no yolks. Buying new eggs that are fresh, cold and not served a special low fat diet will probably do the trick.

Hope that is helpful.

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