Many people have a preference when it comes to egg color.
Some people believe brown eggs are healthier or more natural, while others feel that white eggs are cleaner or simply taste better.
But are the differences between brown and white eggs more than shell-deep?
This article explores whether one type of egg is truly healthier or tastier.
Eggs Come in Many Colors
Chicken eggs can come in different colors, and it’s common to find both brown and white eggs in the supermarket.
However, many people don’t know what causes eggs to have different colors.
The answer is quite simple — egg color depends on the breed of the chicken. The different eggshell colors come from pigments the hens produce. The main pigment in brown eggshells is called protoporphyrin IX. It is made from heme, the compound that gives blood its red color
The main pigment found in blue eggshells is called biliverdin, which also comes from heme. It’s the same pigment that sometimes gives bruises a blue-green color But while genetics is the main factor that determines egg color, other factors can have an influence too.
For example, as hens that lay brown eggs age, they tend to lay larger and lighter-colored eggs.The hen’s environment, diet and level of stress may also affect shell color, to some extent.
These factors can make the shade lighter or darker, but not necessarily change the color itself. The main factor determining color is still the breed.
SUMMARY:Chicken eggs can be brown, white or even blue-green. The color of an egg is determined by the breed of the hen that lays it.
Are Brown Eggs Healthier Than White Eggs?
Often, people who prefer brown eggs do so because they believe brown eggs are more natural and healthy than white eggs.However, the truth is that all eggs are nutritionally very similar, regardless of size, grade or color.However, scientists have compared eggs with brown shells to those with white shells to see if there is any difference. Several studies have found that shell color has no significant effect on egg quality and composition.This means that the color of an egg’s shell doesn’t have much to do with how healthy it is. The only real difference is the pigment in the shell.
However, there are other factors that can affect the nutritional content of an egg.
The hen’s environment can have a major impact. For example, eggs from hens that are allowed to roam in the sunshine contain 3–4 times the amount of vitamin D you’d find in eggs from a conventionally raised hen).
The type of feed a hen eats can also affect the nutrient content of her eggs.
SUMMARY:There is no nutritional difference between brown and white eggs. However, a hen’s diet and environment can affect an egg’s nutrition.
Does One Color of Egg Taste Better?
Some people swear that brown eggs taste better, while others prefer the taste of white eggs.
But just as with nutritional content, there is no real difference between the taste of brown- and white-shelled eggs .However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that all eggs taste the same.
Even though shell color doesn’t make a difference, other factors such as type of feed, freshness and how an egg is cooked may affect the way it tastes.
For example, hens fed a diet rich in fat produce more flavorful eggs than hens fed a lower-fat diet. And hens given feed that contains too much fish oil, certain types of fats or even vitamins A or D may produce fishy or off-tasting eggs The diet of a home-raised hen is not the same as that of a conventionally raised hen, which may also affect the flavor of the eggs.
Additionally, the longer the egg is stored, the more likely it is to develop an off flavor. Storing eggs at a stable, low temperature, like in the refrigerator, can help preserve their flavor for longer.
These reasons may be why some people believe that eggs from home-raised chickens taste better than those from conventionally raised chickens.
Backyard eggs don’t go through processing and shipping like conventional ones do, so they may end up on your plate more quickly than eggs bought from the store. Because they’re fresher, they may taste better.
Surprisingly, the way an egg is cooked may affect its flavor too.
So, while many factors may affect egg flavor, shell color does not.
SUMMARY:Brown and white eggs generally taste the same. But eggs can taste different depending on how fresh they are, the way they’re cooked and the diet of the hen.
Why Are Brown Eggs More Expensive?
Even though brown and white eggs seem to be the same by all measures other than color, brown eggs still tend to cost more at the store.
This fact has led many people to believe that brown eggs are healthier or higher-quality than white ones.
However, the cause of this price gap is quite different.
In truth, brown eggs cost more because in the past, brown-laying hens tended to be larger and lay fewer eggs than white-laying hens. Therefore, brown eggs needed to be sold at a higher price to make up for the extra costs .
Today, brown-laying hens have nearly the same production costs as white-laying hens. Nevertheless, their eggs still tend to come with a higher price tag.
This may be because specialty eggs, such as free-range or organic, tend to be brown rather than white.
SUMMARY:Brown eggs used to cost more because brown-laying hens produced less and weighed more. While that’s no longer true, brown eggs still come with a higher price tag.
Written by Taylor Jones RD