Frequently Asked Questions

Is there any nutritional difference between brown shelled and white-shelled eggs?
Shell colour in no way reflects a nutritional difference in an egg. The pigment laid down during shell formation is a result of the genetics of the bird and is directly correlated with feather colour. Simply put, brown hens lay brown shelled eggs and white hens lay white shelled eggs.
Why do some eggs have light yellow yolks and others dark yellow yolks?
Yolk colour is determined by the ingredients used to formulate the hens diet. The pale yellow to orange coloured yolks that can be found in eggs around the world are due to varied levels of the xanthophyll pigment in the feed. For example, in the Canadian prairies, wheat and barley tend to be used as the energy portion of the diet and have low xanthophylls levels, therefore pale yellow yolks. In Eastern Canada, corn is the energy feedstuff of choice and has high levels of xanthophylls which creates a dark yolk.
How long does it take the hen to form and lay an egg?
A hen will release an ova (yolk) once every 24 hours into the oviduct. Once in the oviduct, the yolk passes through several different stages where it becomes coated in albumen, commonly referred to as “egg white”. Egg White is composed of 40 different types of proteins. It serves to buffer the yolk from mechanical injury, act as a bactericide and act as a template for the deposition of shell membranes. Once the yolk is surrounded by egg white, it will rest in the shell gland pouch for 20 hours and will acquire the bulk of the true shell which consists of 95% calcium carbonate and 5% Organic material. Towards the end of shell formation, pigment is added to the shell.
How should I store my eggs?
Eggs should be stored in the carton in the refrigerator until use. Storing eggs in the door of the fridge should be avoided as the opening and closing of the door does not allow them to be kept at a consistently adequate temperature. It will also help prevent cracking and breakage as well as prevent the porous shells from absorbing odours and spoiling the flavour.
How can you tell if an egg is fresh?
Provided that the eggs have been kept refrigerated, you may follow the best before date that is stamped on the end of every carton. In addition, when a fresh egg is cracked onto a plate or frying pan, the yolk will remain round and the thick white (egg white tightly surrounding the yolk) will remain firm and sit up high. With an older egg is broken the yolk will be more flattened in shape and will break easily and the white will be much thinner and more watery spreading further in the pan.
Will eating eggs increase my risk of heart disease?
A study by the Harvard School of Public Health found no link between eating eggs and developing cardiovascular disease in healthy individuals. In fact, limiting dietary cholesterol (by avoiding eggs, for example) could lead to an unbalanced intake of nutrients, which increases the risk for other health problems. Saturated and trans fats, typically found in baked goods, pastries, processed foods and whipped toppings, tend to raise blood cholesterol levels. Eggs contain very little saturated fats and no trans fats. Hu et al. JAMA 1999; 281:1387-1394
What are the white ropey strands in an egg?
These strands are called the chalazae and are a natural part of the egg. They anchor the yolk in the centre of the egg white. The fresher the egg, the more prominent the chalazae will be. The chalazae do not need to be removed unless you are making a smooth custard or sauce.
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