Dried egg powder was the response of the government to a wartime shortage of fresh eggs. Dried egg powder became available in 1942 (fresh eggs were rationed in June 1942) and it was used to supplement the egg allowance while rationing was in place. Dried egg powder came from America. A tin of it contained the equivalent of a dozen eggs and was “extra to your regular egg ration”. Among others uses, dried eggs could be used to make scrambled eggs or in a cake mixture.


The government tried to sell the idea of dried eggs – which were not joyously received by the majority – with a poster campaign. Issued by the Ministry of Food, the poster extolled the view that dried eggs were real eggs in all but name.


“Dried eggs are the complete hen’s eggs, both the white and the yolk, dried to a powder. Nothing is added. Nothing but the moisture and the shell taken away, leaving the eggs themselves as wholesome, as digestible and as full of nourishment and health-promoting value as if you had just taken the eggs new laid from the nest. So put the eggs back into your breakfast menus. And what about a big, creamy omelette for supper? You can have it savoury, or sweet, now that you get extra jam.


In wartime the most difficult food for us to get are the body-builders. Dried eggs build muscles and repair tissue in just the same way as do chops and steaks; and are better for health protection. So we are particularly lucky to be able to get dried egg to make for any shortage of other body-builders such as meat, fish, cheese and milk.


Your allowance of dried egg is equal to three eggs a week.


You can now get one 12-egg pack per four-week rationing period. Children, holders of green ration books, get two-packets per rationing period. You can buy dried eggs at the shop you are registered for shell eggs; poultry keepers can buy anywhere.


Don’t hoard your dried eggs; use them up! There are plenty more coming.


Note: Do not make up dried eggs until you are read to use them. They should not be allowed to stand after they have been mixed with water or other liquid. Use dry when making cakes and so on, and add a little more moisture when mixing.


Free – Dried egg leaflet containing many interesting recipes will be sent on receipt of a postcard addressed to Dept. 627E, Food Advice Service, Ministry of Food, London W1.”


The Ministry of Food even pushed dried eggs on their posters for fresh fruit and vegetables with the information that “all the rich goodness and the flavour of fresh eggs remains. Mix with water as directed on the tin and use just as you would use a freshly beaten egg”.


September 2010