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Poultry Photo: White Chicken Eggs

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Egg

Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen (egg white), and vitellus (egg yolk), contained within various thin membranes. Popular choices for egg consumption are chicken, duck, quail, roe, and caviar, but the egg most often consumed by humans is the chicken egg, by a wide margin.

Egg yolks and whole eggs store significant amounts of protein and choline, and are widely used in cookery. Due to their protein content, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) categorizes eggs as Meats within the Food Guide Pyramid. Despite the nutritional value of eggs, there are some potential health issues arising from egg quality, storage, and individual allergies.

Chickens and other egg-laying creatures are widely kept throughout the world, and mass production of chicken eggs is a global industry. There are issues of regional variation in demand and expectation, as well as current debates concerning methods of mass production, with the European Union's ban on battery farming of chickens.

Chicken eggs are widely used in many types of dishes, both sweet and savory, including many baked goods. Some of the most common preparation methods include scrambled, fried, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, and pickled. They can also be eaten raw, though this is not recommended for people who may be especially susceptible to salmonellosis, such as the elderly, the infirm, or pregnant women. In addition, the protein in raw eggs is only 51% bioavailable, whereas that of a cooked egg is nearer 91% bioavailable, meaning the protein of cooked eggs is nearly twice as absorbable as the protein from raw eggs. As an ingredient, egg yolks are an important emulsifier in the kitchen, and the proteins in egg white allow it to form foams and aerated dishes.

The albumen, or egg white, contains protein but little or no fat, and can be used in cooking separately from the yolk. Egg whites may be aerated or whipped to a light, fluffy consistency, and are often used in desserts such as meringues and mousse. Ground egg shells are sometimes used as a food additive to deliver calcium. Every part of an egg is edible, although the eggshell is generally discarded.

(Source: Wikipedia.org)

 

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