On the occasion of Easter celebrations, we received a gift from our town council and a local bakery, in our mailbox: a traditional Austrian braided sweet bread that you can see in the photo. I had been wondering for two months what those colourful eggs in a supermarket were used for, until this pie came to our door. So I got the idea that I’ll write an article about something that fits the theme – interesting facts about eggs.
An egg is an excellent source of nutrients
Egg contains mainly proteins and fats – omega-3 fatty acids, and some carbohydrates, too. It’s an important source of iron, phosphorus and B vitamins. Apart from chicken eggs, we commonly eat duck, goose, turkey or quail eggs. An average egg weighs about 58 g. The egg white makes up 57% of its mass and a yolk about 33%.
Consists of 10% of proteins and 90% of water. We can find there 40 different proteins, of which ovalbumin is the most abundant. Ovalbumin can, in combination with ovomucoid, trigger allergic reactions in children. Up to 53% of all the egg proteins are found in the egg white.
Contains 47% of all the proteins in an egg, the beneficial omega-3-fatty acids as well as cholesterol. The ratio of proteins and fats in an egg yolk dry matter is 1 to 2.
Lutein and zeaxanthin are responsible for the yellow colour of egg yolk. They belong to the same group as beta-carotene, which can be found, for instance, in carrots. The hue or colour saturation of an egg yolk depends on how much of these substances there are in the food that the birds eat. I read that in order to get the rich yellow hue in egg yolk, chickens are given marigold (Calendula officinalis) flower petals to their feed. The colour of egg yolk, however, doesn’t say anything about its nutrition value or quality. It’s also not true that a home-grown egg is supposed to be yellower.
Marigold is added to poultry feed to make the egg yolks yellower.
Do you smell that, too?
The typical egg odour comes from hydrogen sulphides. The longer you cook your egg, the more sulphides are going to form inside and the more aromatic the egg is going to be. The same applies to old eggs. As a result, the eggs smell like, well…rotten eggs – but only when they’re really old and spoiled.
Green spots in a cooked egg
If you find a green ring in a cooked egg, it’s because a reaction between iron and hydrogen sulphide gas has taken place, after it’s been cooked for longer. It’s not bad from the nutritional point of view and doesn’t taste worse, either. You can get rid of the green colour to an extent by cooling it in cold water.
Do you sometimes feel like peeling your eggs is driving you insane? If yes, it’s actually a good sign.
I’m sure that you have felt that way, at least once in your life. The good news is that when it’s harder to peel an egg, chances are that it’s fresh. The fresher the egg is, the lower is its pH and the more tightly it adheres to the walls of an eggshell. That’s why it’s so challenging to peel it.
What about the link between egg consumption and cholesterol?
A recommended daily intake of cholesterol is 300 mg. One egg yolk contains about 180 mg of cholesterol. The truth is, though, that the level of cholesterol in the blood is given not only by our consumption of it but also by the amount that is produced by our body. Higher consumption of saturated fats (high-fat foods), increases the production of cholesterol in the liver. There are studies published at Harvard that prove that it’s fine to eat 3 eggs per day or 7 eggs per week without any negative consequences. Holding on to my philosophy of eating a varied diet and having reasonable eating habits, I incline to a study that recommends eating 7 eggs per week.
And how do you like your eggs? I love scrambled eggs on melted butter, and then I really like the chocolate ones. When I was younger, we used to have a weekend morning contest with my family, about whose scrambled eggs are the best. I still use some of the tricks that I picked up by watching my parents when I prepare my scrambled eggs now.