Singaporeans love eggs. Find out what the differently labelled eggs mean. By Joyce Teo
Photo: karandaev / www.123rf.com
These eggs are laid by hens not housed in enclosures. They roam in a building, room or open area that includes nest space and perches. Unlike hens that produce free-range eggs, they do not usually have access to the outdoors.
CERTIFIED ORGANIC EGGS
These eggs are usually laid by cage- free or free-range hens raised on certified organic feed and with access to the outdoors. The feed is grown without synthetic pesticides, fungicides or fertilisers. The American Egg Board said that 100 per cent of the ingredients must be certified organic. Organic eggs may also come from caged chickens, said Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre principal dietitian Bibi Chia.
These eggs are laid by hens not housed in enclosures and which have access to the outdoors. In addition to eating grains, these hens may forage for wild plants and insects.
OMEGA-3 ENRICHED EGGS
These eggs provide more omega-3 fatty acids as they are laid by hens fed a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids, said the American Egg Board. Each egg packs 100mg to over 600mg of the beneficial fatty acid. Egg yolks already contain some naturally-occurring omega-3 fatty acids, like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). DHA, which is found in oily fish, is needed for the proper development and maintenance of brain cells.
These eggs are heated to a temperature just below the coagulation point to destroy salmonella, a bacterium that can cause food- borne illness. These eggs can be used for lightly cooked or uncooked food preparations, such as mayonnaise, cream or mousse. Pasteurised eggs are sometimes recommended for young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems to lower their risk of contracting a salmonella infection.
The colour of the shell has nothing to do with the nutritional value, quality or flavour of the egg. The colour depends on the breed of the hens. The American Egg Board said hens with white feathers and white ear lobes lay white eggs, while those with red feathers and red ear lobes lay brown eggs.
These come from kampung chickens. The nutrient content of these eggs is similar to that of normal eggs, said Ms Chia. Many people assume that the chickens are free- roaming but they are not, she said. The term kampung chicken refers to a breed of chicken found in Malaysia and Indonesia.
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 23, 2017, with the headline ‘Seven different types’.