Adeola Balogun is co-founder of LimLim Food Production Company, a Commodity Interest Group in Lagos State supported with modern egg processing technology. Recounting how far she and her group have come, she said:
“Pre Covid-19, we had done some sampling on egg powder processing and had seen what was possible but then Covid came and we began to see farmers burying eggs because they could not have access to markets. The excess production of egg led to glut and losses, posing a big challenge for farmers. Prior to APPEALS intervention, we were struggling to even show samples of the egg powder given the fact that we were also doing fruits and vegetables. We had some states invite us but the APPEALS Project in particular was very supportive and helped us to start processing in large and commercial quantity”.
Explaining the process, Adeola said: “The freeze dryer is where the magic happens. We separate the eggs and place them in trays, and then put them in the machine. Once you start the machines you can’t touch them because the machines are automated. It tells you what it is going to do and once the process is complete, it tells you the process is completed. You then simply bring it out, package and sell to customers”.
According to Adeola, there is a high demand for egg powder and local companies that can produce it to meet the demands. Egg powder is being used largely in the food and beverage industry. It is used in making biscuits, snacks and ice cream, and also used in the pharmaceutical industry amongst other things.
“With the APPEALS intervention we are able to focus on egg powder production and we are more confident to show the company that we have. We are also thinking about plans to move into a bigger facility”.
The interesting fact is that in the egg powder production process, nothing goes to waste. Aside the albumen, which is the main component of the egg white powder and the egg yolk, used for the yellow egg powder, the shells are also collected and processed into animal feeds and scouring powder.
Indeed, the story of how this APPEALS intervention is addressing the problem of egg glut and food waste in Nigeria is worth telling. It is a success story of value addition, wealth creation, zero waste, livelihood improvement and import substitution.