Eggs are an excellent and affordable source of protein and a number of nutrients, all for 70 calories per large egg.
With a large variety of eggs readily available, here are some egg-cellent tips to look out for when purchasing eggs at your local grocery market.
Types of Eggs
In Singapore, the majority types of eggs available in supermarkets are
1) Cage Free Eggs
2) Certified Organic Eggs
3) Omega-3 Enriched Eggs
4) Pasteurised Eggs
5) Kampung Eggs
Read more about each type of egg here.
Many researchers believe that Free-Range eggs are the best quality of eggs due to it's higher nutritional value from healthier hens that are allowed to behave normally and roam freely. So why are there no Free-Range eggs in Singapore? This is because the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) has been prohibiting the sale and import of free-range eggs and chickens in order to avoid an avian influenza epidemic. Most of Singapore's imported eggs come from Malaysia. Other countries approved to export fresh table eggs to Singapore are: Australia, Japan, New Zealand, South Korea, Sweden, and the United States.
Singapore allows Cage-Free eggs. Cage-free eggs are eggs laid by hens that are not housed in battery cages. They roam in a building, room, or open area that includes nest space and perches and usually do not have access to the outdoors.
With Cage-Free eggs as the best alternative, we are sourcing our eggs from farms in Australia and New Zealand. Sunny Queens' and Barney's Barn's eggs are laid by healthy hens that roam freely in spacious barns with access to natural light and fresh air. Their farmers believe that happier hens lay tastier eggs and aim to provide cruelty-free produce.
To get their signature rich, orange yolk colour, the hens' feed may consist of maize, hi-protein soya bean, sesame, spent grain from barley and wheat and other wheat products. Naturally, their hens are hormone and antibiotics free.
The Colour Of The Eggshell
Don't let fancy packaging or labels lead you astray. Brown eggs are no different from white eggs. Just know that the colour of the eggshell has no impact on the quality, nutritional value, or flavour of the egg. In fact, the colour of eggs depends on the breed of chicken. The only noticeable difference is that brown eggs are usually bigger in size and may cost more. This is because breeding hens that lay brown eggs are expensive to raise and feed more (as compared to hens that lay white eggs).
To Refrigerate or Not Refrigerate?
A long ongoing debate that has left people on two sides - should you refrigerate your eggs or keep it out in room temperature?
While one claims that putting eggs in the fridge increases the chances of harbouring bacteria, the other believes that storing eggs at room temperature increases the chances of food poisoning.
Contrary the what the latter say, most experts like AVA recommends consumers to keep eggs in the fridge to keep eggs fresh longer as well as decreases the risk of salmonella, which is a common cause of food poisoning. Salmonella can occur in eggs when the bacteria in chicken droppings penetrate the egg through cracks in the shell. The best thing to do is to follow the care and instructions written on each egg carton. If eggs were bought refrigerated, it is best to store them in the fridge.
Cracks In Eggshells
As mentioned above, it is worth taking the time to open the carton to check the eggs for cracks or breakage as harmful bacteria like salmonella may live on the exterior of the shell and travel into the egg via the cracks.
Colour Of The Egg Yolk
You've probably cooked a few eggs and noticed that the golden center varies in colour - some yolk are lighter or deep with a orange hue.
Egg yolk colour can range from a pale yellow to a deep almost orange hue. The colour of the yolk is influenced by the chicken's diet. The darker the yellow or orange it is, it means the chicken had a varied and natural diet that is rich of carotenoids and xanthophylls, loaded with micronutrients like vitamin A and omega-3. Paler yolks result from a colourless diet made from wheat, barley, or white cornmeal. Rest assured that all feed is carefully balanced to ensure the laying hens are getting the vitamins and minerals they require for good health. It is also good to note that the benefits of egg yolks are their macronutrients such as protein and fat, which remains the same in all yolks, regardless of colour.