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Eggs, Natures Perfect Food


From simple scrambled eggs to the trendy Shakshuka, Canadians are enjoying eggs in so many different and delicious ways. Eggs are also incredibly nutritious - they contain protein, healthy fats, and many nutrients like vitamins A, D, E, choline, iron and folate. We’re breaking down all the reasons why eggs belong in a healthy diet.




PartS oF the eGG


A chicken’s egg is formed from the yolk

outwards in layers, starting with a germ cell,

which can sometimes be found later on the

yolk’s surface. The entire process takes just

over a full day from germ cell to shell.


Yolk

The yolk’s purpose is to provide nutrition for

a growing embryo. It provides fat, protein and

a small amount of water to the developing

chick. All the fat found in an egg comes from

yolk. The yolk will weigh around 18 grams in a

standard, large egg.


Vitelline

This thin membrane between the yolk and

white thins as the egg ages, which is one

reason the yolks of older eggs become difficult

to separate from the whites.


White

Ninety percent of an egg’s total water and

60% of its protein are contained in the white.

Trace amounts of vitamins, minerals and

glucose are also present. The white cushions

the yolk and protects it/the embryo from

bacteria and viruses, while also providing

nourishment. In a standard, large egg, the

white will weigh around 30 grams.


Chalaza

A cleanly separated egg may still have a small

objectionable piece that requires removal:

the chalaza. This is the cord that anchors the

yolk within the egg on each end, allowing it to

rotate while remaining suspended in the shell.


Shell

The shell of an egg is made almost entirely

of calcium. Egg shells are semi-permeable,

allowing air and moisture to pass through.

Before processing, egg shells also have a thin

outer layer called a cuticle, which prevents

bacteria and dust from entering the egg. In the

U.S., it is removed as a result of commercial

processing.




Eggs

Eggs are composed of mostly water, with proteins, fats, and minerals. Eggs are a versatile food that are prepared as a stand-alone food or combined with other ingredients to create sauces, custards, batters, and foams.


Farmed & Processed Eggs

Most eggs are produced in large factory farms, and some are not very hospitable environments for chickens. They are exposed to artificial light and live in small battery cages that are two or three rows high. Each cage can house from 3-10 chickens in a very cramped space. Some plants are being modernized for better lighting and space accommodations.  More humane methods are being used by producers to give consumers options when purchasing eggs. 

  • Free Range eggs, as defined by the USDA, require that birds have access to the outdoors.

  • Cage-free eggs are eggs from birds that are not raised in cages but in floor systems, usually in an open barn.

  • Organic eggs come from chickens fed organic feed and given no antibiotics.

  • Vegetarian eggs are produced from chickens fed only vegetarian feed with no meat added.


Culinary Preparations


Egg yolks are high in protein, fat, and cholesterol. Egg whites are 90% moisture and 10% protein. The yolks are 50% moisture, 30% fat, and 20% protein. Yolks contain lecithin, an emulsifier that is essential to Hollandaise and mayonnaise preparation. Egg yolks add richness and moisture to preparations, including cakes, souffles, and custards.

Egg whites when foamed act as leavening agents in cakes giving them height and volume. They are used in clarifying consommés and for meringues. Because the whites lack fat egg and becuase of this they are very dry, they are useful when a crisp texture is desired, for example on a baked meringue.


  • Fresher eggs are best for poaching and frying because the whites are thicker and will hold together better.

  • Older eggs peel easier when cooked in the shell because the gg shrinks and loses moisture as it ages.

  • Eggs act as emulsifiers and leavening agents and are essential in many preparations, from sauces to cakes.

  • Eggs add structure and height to cakes.

  • Whole eggs combined with milk or cream create custard, flan, crème brûlee, and quiche.

  • Eggs yolks create emulsion sauces including mayonnaise, hollandaise, and crème anglaise.

  • Egg whites are essential in consommé clarification and, when whipped, create foams like meringues.

  • Green egg yolks result from overcooking and the interaction of iron and sulfur in the yolk.



Get Cracking, and have yourself an amazing weekend! Looking to expand your Culinary repetoire? Join one of our online programs today!


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