Facts about eggs
Credit: via Wikimedia Commons

Eggs are present in every fridge and are part of the daily diet of millions of families worldwide. Despite becoming almost part of the family, there are some fun and interesting facts that you probably don’t know.

1. Why are some egg yolks paler than others?

The color of the yolk is determined by what the chicken (or rather the hen) is fed with. In industrial production (caged hens), it is common to use artificial colors. In organic eggs these substances are not needed for a bright yellow yolk, as there are natural pigments in the food they are given, such as corn, sorghum, marigold flowers, skin of citrus and fresh grass that give the yolk the right color and a more intense flavor.

2. Why are some egg shells brown and some others white?

The shell color is determined by the breed of the hen. White hens produce white eggs and brown hens produce brown ones but there are no nutritional differences between them.

3. Why do some recipes recommend using eggs at room temperature?

It can be due to various reasons, for example if you put an egg from the fridge into boiling water, the shell may break more easily, as it very quickly expands by heat and loses some of the white before becoming hard. If used in the oven for baking, very cold eggs will not mix well with the rest of ingredients, resulting in a less spongy cake. It is faster to beat eggs at room temperature, since the protein in the egg white is more elastic. If you prepare a fried egg, the oil in the pan will more likely splash if it is cold than if it is at room temperature. If you keep eggs in the fridge, it is recommended to take them out half an hour before use.

4. How I can tell if an egg is fresh?

A simple test is to place the egg in a glass of water; if it is fresh it will sink, if it floats then it is not. This is because as the egg ages, the air in the inner chamber increases, which makes it float. This doesn’t mean you cannot eat it (as long as it’s before its expiry date), but check for any cracks or other signs of air entry.

5. Where should we keep the eggs at home?

For optimal freshness and food safety, they should be kept at a constant temperature below 20°C. To prevent temperature fluctuations typical in a kitchen, eggs should be stored in its box inside the fridge.

6. How to remove the shell of a boiled egg more easily?

The shell is more easily removed when it is still warm, and if you use eggs that are closer to their expiry date.

7. How can I recycle eggshells?

There are many ways to use egg shells in crafts or in the garden. For example, crushed egg shells sprinkled around the plants help prevent snails and slugs.

Mixed with coffee grounds, they help improve the nutrient balance in potted plants. The calcium in their shell helps the water infiltrate.

Add the egg shells to compost to increase the nutrients and also count as seed for the seeds have all the nutrients they need.

8. What is the red dot that can sometimes be seen in the yolk?

It is called "blood stain", and comes from a broken blood vessel. It happens often and it is safe to eat.

9. Why don't they keep eggs in the refrigerators in the supermarket?

As already mentioned, for optimum freshness and food safety, eggs must be kept at a constant temperature below 20°C. In supermarkets, eggs are maintained below this temperature, so it is not necessary to keep them in the fridge, and this also avoids significant temperature fluctuations (for example, if you put them in a hot car after purchasing them at the supermarket).

10. Why does the yolk of boiled eggs sometimes become green/grey?

It is not very appealing when the yolk turns green/grey, and it also makes it look unappetizing. This occurs because, when heated, the egg forms hydrogen sulfide gas (the one responsible for the dreaded smell of "rotten eggs") and when it is cooled down slowly, the gas causes a reaction on the surface of the yolk. Iron from the yolk and hydrogen react to form a dark iron sulfide deposit.

If you want to prevent this from happening, you should cool the freshly baked egg under running cold water to stop this reaction from occuring; the yolk will remain perfectly yellow.

11. How many eggs is it safe to eat?

The stomach cannot digest too much protein (such as the one present in eggs) if it is eaten in a short period of time, so in principle something that should be a completely natural digestion process can end up in a very hard one to the point that it can cause death. In the same way, the ingestion of a large quantity of liquid in one go can also cause problems in our body, since all body processes are have their own limits.

This is one of those curiosities that one would not want to write, but it often occurs in different parts of the planet. There are times when a bet, or temperamental pride can end up costing someone their life. This is the case of Fatnassi Dhaou of Tunisia, who died after betting against his friends he would be able to eat 28 raw eggs in exchange for a sum of money that has not been revealed.

The young man, aged 20, came to eat the 28 eggs, but it was the last thing he ever did. After completing the challenge, Dhaou began experiencing severe stomach pains and was taken in a rush to the hospital, but he died in the ambulance.

Amazon Price: $24.95 $24.00 Buy Now
(price as of Jan 19, 2016)