There were government campaigns in 2004 and 2010 to encourage Singaporeans to consume more packaged liquid eggs instead of the usual shelled variety, but the take-up has been poor. — Picture by Ahmad Zamzahuri
SINGAPORE, March 26 — As part of Singapore’s ongoing efforts to be less reliant on imports for its food supplies, regulators here have made a push for liquid eggs twice in the last 15 years.It appears, however, that plans to get Singaporeans to switch from the usual shell egg to liquid eggs have failed to hatch.Most of the major supermarket chains here do not sell liquid eggs as demand for the product is too low.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.Information on the AVA’s website stated that the packaged liquid egg goes through a series of quality checks and laboratory testing and monitoring for any possible food threats, before they are certified safe for delivery.Last December, the security of Singapore’s egg supply was thrust into the spotlight 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.The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) said in response at the time that Singapore has a “wide range of alternative sources” for eggs, in line with its overall food diversification strategy.Last year, 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, the AVA said.The issue of food security was also highlighted during the recent debate on the Singapore Government’s budget, when Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, said that Singapore has set a target of producing 30 per cent of its own nutritional needs by 2030.The push for liquid eggsThe first time that the AVA pushed to get Singaporean consumers to embrace liquid and powder eggs was in the aftermath of the avian influenza outbreak in 2004, which led to Singapore banning the supply of shell eggs from Malaysia.Six years later in 2010, it launched a five-year campaign to raise awareness about liquid and powder eggs, “so that consumers would be more receptive to the alternatives in times of shortages”, the AVA said in response to TODAY’s queries.“When hen shell eggs are readily available in the market, they are naturally the first choice for consumers due to cost, taste and cooking habits. On the consumer end, few knew of egg alternatives or how to use them,” an AVA spokesperson said.The second campaign, which ended in 2014, reached out to more than 75,000 consumers.A hard shell to crackHousewife Rozanah Mohd Shah, 44, is among the unconverted. “We’re so used to the normal eggs. I don’t even know how to use and store liquid eggs and whether it will taste the same,” she said. “The name ‘liquid eggs’ already sounds weird to me.”Human resource manager Sherlyn Tan, 36, echoed the sentiment, saying that it would be hard to make a switch to “something that is not a norm”.She added: “It is hard to break the habit of using normal shell eggs. And it sounds like a hassle to use liquid eggs because it’s stored in packaging and all.”Four major supermarket chains here agreed that liquid eggs failed to win over Singapore’s home cooks.A spokesperson for NTUC FairPrice told TODAY that its supermarkets do not carry liquid eggs. The supplies were introduced in 2012, but were discontinued less than a year later, due to low customer demand.Retail group Dairy Farm, which manages Giant and Cold Storage supermarkets, said that liquid eggs are not available at Giant stores. However, they are available in frozen form in five of 50 Cold Storage stores islandwide.The group said that there has been a decline in demand for liquid eggs as supply of shell eggs have stabilised since 2010. Its spokesperson said: “One possible reason for the low demand could be due to pricing, as liquid eggs are more expensive than normal fresh eggs.”Sheng Siong’s spokesperson, too, said that the supermarket chain does not sell liquid eggs, and the last time it did was “more than a decade ago”.Singapore egg producer N&N Agriculture told TODAY that it began producing liquid eggs in late 2014 but has “never supplied liquid eggs to supermarkets”.Retail packaging affects the shelf life of the product and retail consumer demand is too low, the spokesperson said.She added 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.Companies making the switchTODAY posed the question to the AVA: Has the push to get Singaporeans to embrace liquid eggs been a failure?The AVA responded that while shell eggs still remain the preferred choice among home cooks, food-and-beverage companies have been making the switch to liquid eggs since 2004.Among them are kaya (coconut jam) manufacturers such as Fong Yit Kaya and Asia Canning Manufacturers, the agency added.“Efforts to encourage the food industry to increase their use of liquid eggs is ongoing,” the AVA spokesperson said.Though importers here are still getting their usual egg supplies from Malaysia, the AVA stressed that Singapore has a wide range of alternative sources for eggs, including local farms.Singapore has diversified its import sources, which have increased from 140 countries in 2004 to 180 in 2017, the agency added. Such countries include Australia, Japan, New Zealand, Thailand and the United States.And to encourage import from alternative sources, the AVA has been organisi [...]
Rich and creamy scrambled eggs!
Scrambled eggs are one of the easiest ways of preparing eggs. I like mine best when it is not too dry and not too wet, and while I normally have them for breakfast, you can really eat them at any time of the day. They’re very quick to make, and I love having mine with a generous sprinkling of extra black pepper over the top! Let me show you how I make my scrambled eggs – it’s rich and creamy!
½ tsp salt
1/8 tsp (dash) black pepper
¼ c milk
1 tsp butter
Making scrambled eggs
Crack two eggs in a small bowl.
Add salt, pepper and milk to the eggs.
With a whisk or fork, beat the ingredients until it is very well combined.
Heat a small pan or skillet on medium low heat. Add butter until it melts.
Pour in the egg mixture into the pan.
With a heat-proof spatula, continuously stir the egg mixture as it cooks, scraping the bottom and the sides of the pab and mixing the curdled eggs into the rest of the uncooked eggs.
When about half the egg mixture has cooked, turn the heat down to low.
Continue stirring until all the egg mixture has cooked, but the eggs are still soft and wet.
If you prefer your scramble dryer, continue cooking the eggs until they have reached the doneness you like. However, don’t forget to quickly remove them from the pan as the eggs will continue to cook from the heat of the pan. Always have your plate on standby instead of looking for it when you are done cooking or your scramble will end up too dry.
This dish cooks very quickly. Once the egg mixture is in the pan, make sure you continuously stir your eggs or you will end up with an omelette instead!
There are many different styles and ways to make scrambled eggs and I hope you like how I make them! For more details on how to prepare this dish, check out my YouTube video or watch it below. I’ve also shared a few more egg recipes that I hope you will enjoy.
Chinese-style Steamed Eggs by Chef Zam
French Fold Omelette by Chef Zam
Sunny Side Up by Chef Zam
Video courtesy of Dapur Chef Zam.
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