Eggshell membrane heals chronic sores

Photo: Sune Eriksen
Ingredients Innovation

Norwegian hens are world-class when it comes to animal health and welfare. This gives Norwegian eggs a unique quality and a fantastic starting point for developing new products. Norilia has collaborated on a research project with Biovotec and Nofima AS, a research institute, in order to develop an organic adhesive bandage made of eggshell membrane that can help heal chronic sores. This is a serious health problem with significant costs for both individuals and society.

An eggcellent starting point

You gotta break a few eggs to make an omelet, as the saying goes. You have to crack many more to make enough bandage that covers the challenges with getting chronic sores to grow. Luckily, there are plenty of eggs to use – just a single Norwegian egg processing plant already produces 800 tons of eggshells per year. This previously expensive waste product has now become a valuable resource for solving a serious health problem.

“Chronic sores are a massive problem. Worldwide, chronic sores are responsible for an amputation every 30 seconds, and 5 percent of all health-related expenses are caused by treatment of chronic sores.”
- Ralf Schmidt, CEO of Biovotec

From tradition to biotechnology

It's traditional knowledge that the membrane you find inside the eggshell can help wounds to heal – but to exploit this knowledge on a large scale requires an efficient and cost-effective method to separate the membrane from the shell. Biovotec has achieved this, in collaboration with us, and we have now installed a new separation facility. This has been achieved together with Nortura and Biovotec’s engineering partner, Adigo, at the Nortura Revetal egg processing plant.

This facility separates the shell membrane from the shell in a new, unique way that is more effective, hygienic, and at a lower cost than existing methods. After separation, the membrane is dried and ground to a powder. The sore healing properties of this powder have been tested by researchers at Nofima in Ås. Plasters with this powder have been tested in clinical studies, and the product is currently under CE approval.

800 tonnes of eggshell at Nortura Revetal

800 tonnes of eggshell at Nortura Revetal

Eggshell isn't just shell - the valuable membrane within the eggshell is separated from the rest of the shell using a unique process.

Many ways to use an eggshell

The eggshell itself also gets ground to a powder. Norilia is involved in several projects that investigate new ways to use the membrane and the eggshell – for example use in food products, as nutritional supplements, in pet food, materials, and for soil improvement. The use of new technology and new applications can increase our contribution to sustainability and the circular economy.

Eggshell calcium
Eggshell calcium
Photo: Sune Eriksen

Better sore treatment for even more people

Studies show that adhesive bandages made of eggshell membrane get sores to grow at least as effectively as the best products that are out on the market now, but for a fraction of the price. Therefore, bandages based on eggshell membrane can make effective sore treatment available to an even larger number of people who suffer from chronic sores.

"We are very proud that we now get to perform clinical tests with some of the best hospitals and researchers in the UK." -Ralf Schmidt, CEO of Biovotec

These new band aids will be tested in six hospitals in the UK in 2019, in collaboration with British medical experts. The product is expected to be on the market in summer 2020. Biovotec estimates that the market for such a product could be worth billions of dollars.

Our partners for our egg ingredients



Heidi Alvestrand

Director Business Development

Øystein Danielsen

Director Ingredients