Q&A

Have a question about how to cook with eggs? Or maybe you want to know how hens are raised or how eggs graded? Well we’ve got your answers! Browse our frequently-asked questions, or search for your question here.

Q Why should I keep my eggs refrigerated? Show Hide
A

Eggs, like many other perishable foods, should be stored in the refrigerator until they are needed to help maintain their freshness. The lower and consistent temperature limits moisture lost through the pores of the egg shell. This keeps the egg fresh right up to the "best before date" that's stamped on the exterior of the carton. You may also find our  Keeping it fresh article interesting.

Q What is the white stringy bit that is sometimes attached to the egg yolk? Show Hide
A

That would be the chalazae. The chalazae is a pair of spiral bands that anchors the yolk in the centre of the thick albumen. The fresher the egg, the more prominent the chalazae.

Q What are free run and free range eggs? Show Hide
A

Free run eggs are produced by hens that roam in open-concept barns with slat or litter-covered floors equipped with nests and perches.

Free range eggs are produced in a similar environment to free run eggs but the hens have access to outdoor runs as well. Due to the severe Canadian climate, outdoor access is only seasonally available.

There are no differences between the nutrient content of these eggs and classic shell eggs.

Q Why is the colour of some egg yolks darker than others? Show Hide
A

Egg yolk colour can range from pale yellow to deep orange. This is because the hen’s diet affects the colour of the egg yolk! A wheat-based diet will produce a pale coloured yolk, while a corn-based diet will produce a darker coloured yolk. In Canada, since our country is so big, the diet of the hens is adjusted based on what’s locally produced—corn or wheat. 

Q Can I eat a fertilized egg? Show Hide
A

Yes. Most eggs sold today are infertile because there are no roosters housed with the laying hens. But fertile eggs can be found at roadside stands or health food stores. There are no nutritional differences between fertile and infertile eggs.

If fertile eggs are not incubated, there will be no development of the embryo and no way to distinguish them from infertile eggs. If fertile eggs are properly incubated for a few days, development of the embryo should be visible when the eggs are candled, and federal regulations prohibit their use as human food.

Q Is it okay to use raw or partially-cooked eggs in recipes? Show Hide
A

When preparing raw or lightly cooked eggs, for example in eggnog or Caesar salad you must use proper food handling methods.

Use only Grade A eggs that have been refrigerated. Grade A eggs must have clean, uncracked shells. Wash hands in hot, soapy water before and after handling the eggs. Eat the dish immediately after preparation or immediately refrigerate the product until served, keep it cold during serving and consume it the same day it is prepared. Discard leftovers.

Q Why does an egg become solid when it is cooked? Show Hide
A

Heat applied during the cooking process changes the structure of the egg protein. The more the egg is cooked, the more solid and rigid the structure becomes. Once a protein has been cooked you cannot alter its shape again.

Q Which hens have been developed to produce eggs without a yolk? Show Hide
A

Eggs without a yolk are not available. However, some commercial products have been made using egg whites only (e.g. egg noodles). Many studies have been conducted to reduce the size of the egg yolk but this is usually a function of the age of the laying hen.

Q What causes a blood spot on the egg yolk? Show Hide
A

Sometimes when a hen is laying an egg, a blood spot is formed. The blood spot is usually caused by the rupture of a blood vessel when the egg is being formed. Eggs with blood spots are usually removed during grading but occasionally one is missed. An egg with a blood spot is not harmful to eat. The spot can easily be removed with the tip of a knife before cooking.

Q What is the scientific name for the egg white? Show Hide
A

The scientific name of the egg white is albumen. Albumen contains more than half of the egg's total protein content. When a fresh egg is broken, the thick albumen stands up firmly around the yolk. Albumen tends to thin out as the egg ages because of changes in the protein character.

Q Why do some hard-cooked eggs have a light grey colour on the outside surface of the yolk? Show Hide
A

The light grey or greenish colour which forms on the outside surface of the yolk is the result of the reaction between sulfur and iron compounds in eggs. It tends to occur when the eggs are overcooked or when there is a high amount of iron in the cooking water. Although the colour is not very attractive, the eggs are still safe to eat. Their nutrient content and their flavour are unaffected.

Q Can you tell me what plastic the Egg Cookers are made of and are they microwave safe? Show Hide
A

The Microwave Egg Cookers were tested and approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA tested the cap which is made of Polypropylene homopolymer and the egg base is made of polypropylene resin.

FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation. The FDA is also responsible for advancing the public health by helping to speed innovations that make medicines and foods more effective, safer, and more affordable; and helping the public get the accurate, science-based information they need to use medicines and foods to improve their health. FDA also ensures that these products are honestly, accurately and informatively represented to the public.