Edit ModuleShow Tags
Published:

Why Are Some Egg Yolks and Eggshells Different Colors?



iStockPhoto

While shell and yolk color may differ between chicken eggs, the difference in color bears no relation to the flavor, nutritional value or quality of the egg. The egg’s size and shell color is determined by the breed of the hen.

For example, the Leghorn lays large, pearl-white eggs while Rhode Island Reds lay eggs that are medium to dark brown and are larger than the average-size egg on the market.

When it comes to yolks, the color is determined by a hen’s diet, not its breed (artificial color additives are not permitted in eggs) or the freshness of the egg. Hen diets heavy in green plants, yellow corn, alfalfa and other plant material with xanthophylls pigment (a yellow-orange hue) will produce a darker yellow-orange yolk. Diets of wheat or barley produce pale yellow yolks; hens fed white cornmeal produce almost colorless yolks.

Free-range hens may have access to more heavily pigmented food so they may produce eggs with darker yolks. According to the American Egg Board, consumer preference in the U.S. is typically for light gold- or lemon-colored yolks.

More Articles

Curried Shrimp and Quinoa Salad

Curried Shrimp and Quinoa Salad

Served over fresh peppery arugula, delicate sautéed shrimp in a tomato curry sauce make a tasty lunch or dinner.
Whole-Grain Power Muffins

Whole-Grain Power Muffins

A muffin strong enough to fill the bellies of even the hungriest child or adult. A delightful start to the day or snack loaded with whole grains, flax and hemp seeds, shredded carrot and fresh orange zest.
Atari Fit (Version 1.1.6)

Atari Fit (Version 1.1.6)

Work out, earn points and play games as exercise becomes playtime with Atari Fit's gamified global fitness app.
Edit Module

Edit Module
blog comments powered by Disqus

Add your comment:
Edit ModuleShow Tags Edit Module
Advertise with Food & Nutrition
Edit Module

View The Current Issue


The latest news and resources from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics — the world's largest organization of food and nutrition professionals.
Read More.

Edit ModuleShow TagsEdit Module

Tweets from Stone Soup Bloggers