Eggs are extremely nutritious and are packed with protein and provide the body with various benefits. People have preferences when it comes to color, some like white eggs while others prefer brown eggs believing they are more nutritious.
Both white and brown eggs are easily available at the supermarket. The color of the eggs varies according to the breed of the chicken.
The difference in the eggshell is due to the pigments the hens produce. The brown color of the eggshell is due to a pigment called protoporphyrin IX that is made from heme, a compound that gives the red color to the blood.(1)
Some chickens also lay blue-green eggs. Their shell color is due to biliverdin, which also comes from heme, which is responsible for the green-blue color of the bruises.(2)
Sometimes the same breed of chicken may have a different color eggshell.(3) This depends on the genetic dominance along with other factors such as diet and the level of stress of a hen.
Brown Eggs and White Eggs: Which One is Healthier?
People prefer brown eggs as they think it is healthier. But, the truth is that all the eggs are similar nutritionally irrespective of their color, size, and grade.(4)
Both the variety i.e. the brown eggs and white eggs are healthy foods as they are rich in high-quality proteins, vitamins, and minerals and low in calories.(5)
A study was done to compare the nutritional content of white and brown eggs. It was found that the shell color made no difference in the egg quality or composition.(6)
This means the color of the eggshell does not affect the nutrition it provides.
There are other factors that may influence the nutritional content of the egg, which are as follows:
Environment: The hen’s environment can affect the nutritional quality greatly. Hens that are allowed to roam in sunshine give eggs that are higher in vitamin D as compared to the hens who are conventionally raised.(7)
Diet: The diet of a hen can affect the nutritional content of the eggs laid by it. Hens fed with an omega-3 rich diet produce eggs that are rich in omega 3 than normal. Similarly, chicken fed with a vitamin D rich diet lays eggs rich in vitamin D.(8, 9)
Does the Color of Egg Shell Affect the Taste?
Some people say brown eggs taste better, while a few others have the same words for white eggs.
The taste does not vary because of the color but due to the type of feed of the hen, freshness, cooking method, and the breed of chicken.(10)
Also, the longer an egg is stored, the more likely will it change the taste and develop an off-flavor.
The cooking method may also affect the flavor of the egg.
Therefore it may be clear that there are numerous factors that affect the taste of an egg, not the shell color.
What to Look for When Buying Eggs?
It’s almost clear now that the color does not affect the egg’s quality. There are a few factors that should be taken into consideration while buying eggs.
- Organic: Eggs labeled as organic are from the chickens that are given only organic and non-GMO feed. These hens are not given antibiotics or hormones. However, there is no evidence that organic eggs are more nutritious.
- Omega-3 Enriched: These eggs come from the hens that are fed a diet rich in omega-3 and hence contain more of this nutrient. Choosing these eggs can provide some extra health benefits.
Eggs can be available in different colors, which depends on the breed of the chicken. There is no nutritional difference in the eggs according to the brown and white color. The difference depends on how the chicken laying the egg is taken care of.
So next time you purchase eggs, make sure you don’t make a choice depending on the color.
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