By: James Parsons Contributing columnist
September 17, 2013
In 2011, the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) reported that chicken eggs were 14 percent lower in cholesterol than previously recorded. The study collected large shell eggs from 12 locations across the country to analyze the nutrient content of eggs. The collected eggs were sent to a laboratory at Virginia Tech University to be prepared for nutrient analysis at certified nutrient analysis laboratories. The samples were randomly paired for the testing procedure, and the analysis laboratories tested samples to determine composition of a variety of nutrients including protein, fat, vitamins and minerals. Accuracy and precision were monitored using quality control samples
. According to Dr. Jacob Exler, a nutritionist with the Agriculture Research Service, the procedure used is standard for the National Food and Nutrient Analysis Program — the program responsible for analyzing the nutrient composition of a wide variety of foods and making nutrition information publicly available.
Now that you know eggs are healthier than previously reported, I thought I would give you some egg facts and trivia. Most of this information can be found at the website: “www. Incredibleegg.org”
The U. S. produces 75 billion eggs annually.
The U. S. produces about 10 percent of the world’s egg supply.
Most eggs are laid between 7-11 a.m.
A hen requires 24 to 26 hours to produce an egg.
Consumers use approximately 60percent of the eggs produced in the United States.
Approximately 9percent of the eggs are used by the foodservice industry.
Egg size and grade are not related to one another. Size is determined by weight per dozen.
Grade refers to the quality of the shell, white, yolk and the size of the air cell.
Yolk color depends on the plant pigments in the hens’ feed.
Europe has had domesticated hens since 600 B.C.
Normally, hens with white ear lobes lay white eggs.
Normally, hens with red ear lobes lay brown eggs.
There is no nutritional difference between white and brown eggs.
As hens grow older, they produce larger eggs.
A mother hen turns her eggs about 50 times per day.
You can keep fresh, uncooked eggs in the shell refrigerated for at least 3 weeks, but keep them in their carton to prevent them from absorbing odors from the refrigerator.
A hard-boiled egg will peel more easily if it is a week or older before it is cooked.
Each egg has 7 to 17 thousand tiny pores on the shell surface.
Eggs will age more in 1 day at room temperature than they will in a week when properly refrigerated.
Eggs are placed in cartons with the small end up to keep the air cell in place and the yolk centered.
You can scramble, fry, and poach eggs in a microwave, but you cannot cook an egg in its shell in the microwave. The steam builds up so rapidly that the egg cannot “exhale” it fast enough and the egg may explode.
Eggs contain the highest quality food protein known. It is second only to mother’s milk for human nutrition.
The largest single chicken egg ever laid weighed a pound with a double yolk and double shell.
The most expensive egg ever sold was the Faberge “Winter Egg” sold in 1994 for $5.6 million.
North Carolina State University and North Carolina A& T State University commit themselves to positive action to secure equal opportunity regardless of race, color, creed, national origin, religion, sex, age, or disability. In addition, the two Universities welcome all persons without regard to sexual orientation. North Carolina State University, North Carolina A&T State University, U. S. Department of Agriculture, and local governments cooperating.
(Editor’s note: James Parsons is Area Specialized Poultry Agent for the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service in Sampson County.)