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Liquid eggs out to beat Asia food scares

by 5m Editor
28 April 2006, at 12:00am

HONG KONG - With bird flu and mad cow disease fueling food scares across the region, companies are plugging &quot;safe&quot; alternatives such as liquid eggs and ostrich meat to tempt health-conscious consumers. With bird flu and mad cow disease fueling food scares across the region, companies are plugging &quot;safe&quot; alternatives such as liquid eggs and ostrich meat to tempt health-conscious consumers. The products appear alongside other niche foods, including halal dim sum, at Asia&#39;s top international food and hospitality trade fair being held this week in Singapore that offers a taste of the future. The US Poultry and Egg Export Council&#39;s pavilion at the Food and Hotel Asia - which has drawn 2,300 companies - showcases liquid and powdered eggs in the hope of gaining a bigger market share in the region. The threat of bird flu, which has killed more than 100 people worldwide since late 2003, mostly in Asia, has sparked a health scare that prompted some countries to ban imports of birds and poultry products from affected areas. Almost all human cases have occurred in people who have had close contact with, or eaten, sick birds. Although there is no evidence that humans have caught the deadly virus from consuming eggs, the US export council is eyeing an opportunity. &quot;People now are very conscious about safety,&quot; said the council&#39;s regional director, Margaret Say. &quot;With our product, people can still eat eggs safely, and you don&#39;t have to worry about supply shortages.&quot; With liquid eggs, she noted, people do not have to worry about shell, on which bacteria can cling. Also, liquid and powdered eggs could be used as ingredients for cakes and a range of local cuisines. &quot;We are trying to market this in the ASEAN region,&quot; Say said. With fears of mad cow disease still lingering across the region as sporadic cases emerge among cattle in beef- exporting countries, ostrich farmers are looking to sell the meat of the flightless bird as an alternative. A brochure produced by South African food firm Mosstrich describes ostrich meat as &quot;the choice of kings, queens, gourmet chefs, sport and health fanatics&quot; because of its flavor and nutritional benefits. <i>Source: The Standard</i>

5m Editor