Albumen is a simple water-soluble protein found in many animal tissues and liquids. Its most common source is in raw eggs as the clear liquid that surrounds the yolk. Because the protein found in albumen is elastic, it tends to bind easily with other proteins.
This protein has a variety of industrial applications, most notably in the photographic process where it was used during printing to fix images on paper. This process was most popular during the late 19th century.
Today, egg white powders containing albumen are used to assist the production of oil-based emulsions for foods such as dressings, sauces and mayonnaise. As a binding agent, egg white powders are also used in the commercial production of a variety of foods, including sausages, hamburger, ham and other processed meats also with vegetarian soy entrees. The powdered form of this protein has a far greater strength than liquid, making it resistant to bending and stretching.