1. What’s the difference between white eggs and brown eggs?
Eggshell colour can vary but it has nothing to do with the quality, flavour, nutritive value, cooking characteristics or shell thickness of an egg. The eggshell colour depends upon the breed of the hen. In Canada, white shell eggs come from Leghorn hens and brown shell eggs are produced by Rhode Island Red breed hens.
2. Why do some eggs have a darker yolk?
Egg yolk colour can range from pale yellow to deep almost orange hue. The colour of the yolk is influenced by the type of feed the chickens have ingested. Rest assured that all feed is carefully balanced to ensure the laying hens are getting the vitamins and minerals they require for good health. Wheat-based feeds tend to produce a paler yolk colour while corn-based feeds produce a darker yolk colour. Yolk colour does not affect the flavour, nutritive value or quality of the egg.
3. When I hard boil my eggs, the outside of the yolk looks a little greenish. What is that?
A reaction between the sulfur and iron compounds in the egg produce the greenish or grayish hue around the yolk. It usually occurs when you overcook the eggs or if you have a high amount of iron in the water you use to cook your eggs. It’s not harmful to eat eggs that have this greenish hue.
4. If there is a blood spot in the yolk, is the egg bad?
The blood spot found in an egg is usually caused by the rupture of a blood vessel when the egg is being formed. We try to remove eggs with blood spots during grading, but sometimes one can slip past our inspectors. Eating an egg with a blood spot will not harm you, but you can always try to remove the blood spot with a knife before cooking the egg.
5. Why does boiling an egg change the whites and yolk into a solid?
Heat applied during the cooking process changes the structure of the egg protein. The more the egg is cooked, the more solid the structure becomes.
6. Sometimes there is a white stringy thing in my egg. What is it?
The white stringy substance is the chalazae. It consists of a pair of spiral bands that anchor the yolk in the centre of the thick albumen (egg white). The fresher the egg, the more prominent the chalazae.
7. Should I eat free run, or free range eggs?
Free run eggs are produced by hens that roam in open-concept barns that have man-made nests and perches, just like the eggs we raise at Homestead Farms.
Free range eggs are raised in a similar environment, but the hens have outdoor runs as well.
8. Do eggs contain omega-3 fatty acids?
Omega-3 fatty acids are found in foods including canola and soybean oils, flaxseed, fatty fish , fish oils and fish oil concentrates. Omega-3 enriched eggs, laid by hens with feed containing ground flaxseed, provide a good dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids.
9. How much protein do eggs contain?
Eggs contain nine essential amino acids making them an excellent source of high quality protein.
Eggs are also an affordable protein source and can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks without affecting their quality. Two eggs are considered a full serving from the Meat & Alternatives food group, according the Canada’s Food Guide.
10. How much nutrition am I getting from one egg?
The nutritional value of an egg is divided between the egg yolk and the egg white.
Eggs have a high nutrient density because they provide significant amounts of vitamins and minerals you need, yet they contain only 70 calories. They are an excellent source of high-quality protein (i.e. they contain all the essential amino acids as mentioned above), as well as many B vitamins.
The yolk provides ¾ of the calories and most of the fat, phosphorus, iron, zinc, vitamins B6, B12 and A, folic acid, pantothenic acid, choline and thiamine of the entire egg. It also provides half of the protein and riboflavin of the whole egg. Egg yolks are also one of the few foods naturally containing vitamin D.
11. How much protein does an egg white contain?
One large egg contains 6 grams of protein with 3.5 grams from the yolk and 2.8 grams from the white. And remember, the protein in an egg contains all the essential amino acids used for proper growth and development.
12. How do I know when I’ve selected a high-quality egg?
To ensure top quality, buy only Canada Grade A eggs that have been kept refrigerated. Before you purchase your eggs, check that the shells are clean and without cracks.
All eggs sold in Canadian grocery stores and convenience stores are Grade A eggs. When you’re buying eggs, look for a maple leaf on the carton just like Homestead Eggs prominently displays on our own packaging. Grade A eggs are required to have a clean shell, be free of cracks and have a normal in shape. They must also have a firm white, a small air cell on the wide end and the yolk must be centered inside the egg.
13. How closely should I follow the “Best Before” date on an egg carton?
The date indicates the time the eggs will maintain Grade A quality, if stored properly. It is normally 28 to 35 days from the date of packing. If need to use them after that date, they are better for baking, hard-cooking or scrambling rather than poaching or frying as the temperature of cook will ensure you don’t fall ill.
14. What’s the best way to keep fresh eggs fresh?
Uncooked eggs are perishable. Over time egg whites becomes thinner, the membrane around the yolk starts to deteriorate and breaks more easily, and the fresh egg taste disappears.
When grocery shopping, always buy eggs from a refrigerated display case. Eggs kept at room temperature deteriorate as much in a day as they would in a week if they were properly refrigerated.
Keep your eggs as fresh as possible by storing them their original carton. The carton protects the eggs from absorbing the flavour and odour of foods you might be storing nearby. To ensure the freshest egg taste, keep your eggs away from strong smelling foods like onions, cheese or cabbage. Although your refrigerator may have an egg tray on the door, the door area tends not to be cold enough to keep your eggs fresh. Don’t wash your eggs before storing them as it removes their protective coating.
15. How long can eggs be stored before they go bad?
Raw shell eggs will keep in the refrigerator without significant quality loss for up to three weeks (21 days) after the stamped “Best Before” date.
Eggs gradually lose quality and some of their functional properties, such as the ability to thicken sauces and make baked goods rise as they age. Quality deterioration depends on many things including handling and storage, and temperatures.
Hard-cooked eggs, in the shell or peeled, should be eaten within 7 days of cooking. Hard-boiled yolks should be used within five days.
Separated egg whites and yolks should be refrigerated immediately in tightly covered containers and used within two to four days. To prevent the yolks from drying up, add a little cold water in the container and pour the water off before using.
16. How do I handle eggs to prevent illness and disease?
The following tips will help you prevent egg and food-related illness in your home:
- Always wash your hands with soap and hot water before and during food preparation, especially is you are touching many different varieties of food while you’re preparing your meal.
- If you must sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with the inside of your elbow, turn away from foods and wash your hands again before handling food.
- Keep utensils, cutting boards, and work areas clean.
- Wash and spin dry all fresh vegetables before eating.
- Prepare foods quickly, cook thoroughly to their recommended temperature and serve immediately before bacteria has a chance to grow in the foods you’ve cooked.
- Avoid cross-contamination by keeping cooked items or foods that will be eaten raw, such as fruit or vegetables, away from surfaces and utensils that have come in contact with drippings from raw eggs, meat, fish, or poultry. It’s dangerous to cut vegetables that will be eaten raw on a board that you have just used to prepare raw meat.
- After preparing raw foods wash cutting boards and utensils in hot soapy water and bleach and rinsing them in hot water before air drying.
- Use a clean spoon each time you test the taste and temperature of the food you are cooking.
- Keep cold foods cold (below 40°F or 4°C) and hot foods hot (above 140°F or 60°C).