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The egg has been an important food throughout human civilization and is often described as “nature's perfect food” as it contains all the necessary nutrients for a new life. For example, eggs are a rich source of choline, an essential nutrient for normal development of the brain, and carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin, which can provide protection against age-related macular degeneration. Egg proteins are considered as the most nutritious and economically affordable high-quality protein and are used as the “gold standard” for assessment of the quality of other proteins. More recently, the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans no longer include a limit for dietary cholesterol intake and recommend eggs as part of a healthy eating pattern.

Consumers are becoming more health-conscious and are looking beyond the basic nutrition to potential disease prevention and health-enhancing components. There is promising evidence to support a beneficial role of egg consumption in weight management, cardiovascular diseases including metabolic syndrome, and prevention of muscle loss, among others. Indeed, eggs contain a diverse array of bioactive compounds with properties that are applicable to nutrition, health, and value addition for functional food development.

This book is a reflection of the trends and innovations in the area of egg nutrition, functional foods, and value addition that have been presented at the past three successful Banff Egg Symposia (2012, 2014, and 2016), and several invited papers from the authors who could not attend the symposia. The objectives of this book are to provide current evidence on the relationship between egg consumption and cardiovascular diseases, metabolic syndrome, weight management, mental development, and eye, muscle, and ageing health, to showcase the new developments of egg bioactives relevant to antioxidants, anti-inflammation, cardiovascular and bone health, and anti-microbial and anti-viral activities, as well as to present recent developments of processing eggs for value-added food, nutritional, biomedical, functional food, and nutraceutical applications. This book will serve a broad readership in the disciplines of egg science and technology, food science, nutrition, functional foods/nutraceuticals, biochemistry, and biotechnology. This book can also be used as a key reference for the egg industry and the egg marketing sector, or as a textbook/reference for undergraduate and graduate students.

I am grateful to all authors for their outstanding contributions, which have made the publication of this monograph possible. I would like to thank Nicki Dennis, Commissioning Editor of the Royal Society of Chemistry, for providing guidance in developing the outline of the monograph, and Katie Morrey, Editorial Assistant, for all her administrative support in preparing the book.

Jianping Wu

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

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