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a chicken’s egg


This particular eggs texture is smooth and shiny with the occasional uneven grain on its surface. Egg shells can have different textures caused by a range of things from excess calcium intake (pimpled eggs) to double-ovulation, disease, defective shell gland or rapid changes in lighting conditions (sandpaper eggs).

The colour of this egg shell is a pale tinted brown colour. Shell colour comes from pigments in the outer layer of the shell. Eggs from various commercial breeds may range from white to deep brown. The breed of hen determines the colour of the shell. Among commercial breeds, hens with white feathers and ear lobes lay white-shelled eggs; hens with red feathers and ear lobes lay brown eggs.



British Lion Egg Stamp method of production

producer id

0 organic 1 free range 2 barn 3 caged

uk origin

best before date

farm id

All Class A eggs have to be marked with a code showing the type of farming system, country of origin and production unit. In addition, British Lion eggs have a best before date on the shell and carry the Lion logo. Grade A eggs are the highest grade. They are naturally clean, fresh eggs, internally perfect with shells intact and the air sac not exceeding 6mm in depth. The yolk must not move away from the centre of the egg rotation. Grade A eggs are sold as shell eggs. The EU egg marketing legislation stipulates that for eggs to be termed ‘free range’, hens must have continuous daytime access to runs, which are mainly covered with vegetation and a maximum stocking density of 2,500 birds per hectare.

Additional requirements of the Lion code The Lion Quality Code of Practice stipulates the same additional standards for Lion Quality free range hens as for Lion Quality barn hens plus provision of outdoor shading in absence of a veranda and one pop-hole per 600 birds open for 8 hours daily to allow access to the outside; maximum flock size of 16,000 birds divided into colonies of 4,000 where flock size is over 6,000 birds in total; a maximum stocking density of 2,000 birds per hectare. The width and height of the pop-holes is greater than required by EU legislation.

The hen house conditions for free range hens must comply with the regulations for birds kept in barn systems, with a maximum stocking density of 9 hens per square metre of usable area.



Length: Diameter: Weight:

2 ¼ inches / 57 millimetres 1 ¾ inches / 44.5 millimetres 2 ounces / 57 grams

eggs - amine The different classes denote different sizes as shown below: Traditional sizes:
 Class – Weight (g)

Modern sizes:
 Size – Weight (g)

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Very large (XL) > 73 Large (L) 63
 Medium (M) 53 – 63 
Small (S) < 53

> – 75
 – 75
– 70
– 65
 – 60
– 55
 45 – 50
 – 45




Place the egg in your most dominant hand.

2. With your forefinger stabilizing the back of the egg, pull the eggs apart using your thumb and middle finger to seperate the egg into two halves.

Whatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cracking?

3. Open the egg halves using your thumb to push gently into the cracked part of the egg shell, then pull the halves apart with both hands. This is done gently to minimize the chance that the egg will shatter or that small pieces of shell will get into the bowl.


An egg shell is covered with as many as 17,000 tiny pores. The eggshell is made almost entirely of calcium carbonate (CaCO3) crystals. It is a semi-permeable membrane, which means that air and moisture can pass through its pores. The shell also has a thin outermost coating called the cuticle that helps keep out bacteria and dust.

Tap the belly of the egg firmly against a hard surface. Making sure the part of the egg tapped is the widest part. Breaking the egg near the top or bottom increases the chances of the egg shattering in your hands.


The egg actually grows the shell around itself doing this through processes seen in bones and seashells. Around the egg is a membrane, and evenly spaced on the membrane are points where columns of calcite (a form of calcium carbonate) form. These columns stack together side by side to form the shell. The calcite is basically floating in solution around the shell, it deposits on the shell like a forming crystal. The egg grows its own shell. The chicken egg shell is 95-97% calcium carbonate crystals, which are stabilised by a protein matrix.

With it held between your thumb and first two fingers.

6. Empty the egg into a pan.

Without the protein, the crystal structure would be too brittle to keep its form and the organic matrix is thought to have a role in deposition of calcium during the mineralisation process. The structure and composition of the avian shell serves to protect the egg against damage and microbial contamination, prevention of desiccation, regulation of gas and water exchange for the growing embryo, and provides calcium for embryogenesis. Egg shell formation requires gram amounts of calcium being deposited within hours, which must be supplied via the henâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s diet. The process of shell formation takes around 20 hours. Pigmentation is added to the shell by papillae lining the oviduct, colouring it any of a variety of colours.


egg-stracted The anatomy of a chicken egg

nutrients of a raw egg per 100g calories 143

Inner and outer membranes Air cell Albumen Chalazae Vitelline Membrane Yolk

total fat saturated fat polyunsaturated fat monounsaturated fat cholesterol sodium potassium total carbohydrate dietary fibre sugar protein vitamin a calcium vitamin d vitamin b-12 vitamin c iron vitamin b-6 magnesium

10 g 3.1 g 1.9 g 37 g 372 mg 142 mg 138 mg 0.7 g 0g 0.4 g 13 g 10 g

15% 15% 124% 5% 3% 0% 0% 26% 10% 5% 20% 14% 0% 9% 10% 3%


IN N ER A N D OUTER MEMBRA N ES Lying between the egg shell and egg white, these two transparent protein membranes provide efficient defence against bacterial invasion. If you give these layers a tug, you’ll find they’re surprisingly strong. They’re made partly of keratin, a protein that’s also in human hair.

AIR CELL An air space forms when the contents of the egg cool and contract after the egg is laid. The air cell usually rests between the outer and inner membranes at the egg’s larger end, and it accounts for the crater you often see at the end of a hard-cooked egg. The air cell grows larger as an egg ages.





The egg white is known as the albumen, which comes from albus, the Latin word for “white.” Four alternating layers of thick and thin albumen contain approximately 40 different proteins, the main components of the egg white in addition to water.

CHALAZÆ Opaque ropes of egg white, called the chalazae, hold the yolk in the centre of the egg. Like little anchors, they attach the yolk’s casing to the membrane lining the egg shell. The more prominent they are, the fresher the egg.



YOLK The yolk contains less water and more protein than the white, some fat, and most of the vitamins and minerals of the egg. These include iron, vitamin a, vitamin d, phosphorus, calcium, thiamine, and riboflavin. The yolk is also a source of lecithin, an effective emulsifier. Yolk colour ranges from just a hint of yellow to a magnificent deep orange, according to the feed and breed of the hen.

(VITELLINE MEMBRANE) The clear casing that encloses the yolk. 17



1. Using a non stick frying pan, the pan is heated just below medium. The pan is large enough to allow space for the eggs to spread. 2. Within a few minutes of turning the heat on two dashes of olive oil is added to the frying pan. 3. The temperature is monitored to avoid browning the oil, the pan gradually heats, but not so much as to cause the oil to burn. A lower temperature is better, too high and you will burn the oil and eggs quickly. 4. The egg shell is tapped against the side of the frying pan and cracked in to the centre of the pan. A slight sizzle is heard, but there shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be popping or violent splattering occurring. 5. The egg is slowly cooked until the white is completely set and the yolk begins to thicken but is not hard, this takes around 5 to 6 minutes. 6. Using a spatula ,the egg is flipped on to a plate. Sprinkled with salt and pepper it is served immediately.



eggs -quisite total fat15g saturated fat4.3 g polyunsaturated fat3.3 g monounsaturated fat6 g cholesterol401 mg sodium207 potassiummg total carbohydrate152 mg dietary fibre0.8 g sugar0 g protein0.4 g vitamin a14 g calcium vitamin d vitamin b-12 vitamin c iron vitamin b-6 magnesium 23

23% 21% 133% 8% 4% 0% 0% 28% 15% 6% 22% 16% 0% 10% 10% 3%

The white colour of the egg white intensifies once fried and the yolk becomes a golden orange colour.

The first mouthful gives an initial salty taste on the tongue. The next mouthfuls of egg white taste of a mild milky flavour with a slight oily flavour. Once the egg yolk is cracked into, a richer flavour comes through.

The texture of the egg white is almost a jelly like consistency surrounded by crispy edges. The egg white can be described as rubbery, with a silky surface. The egg yolk is a different texture to the white being a thick, runny, gooey consistency.

walking on eggshells

The remaining egg shell once rinsed in water and dried can be placed into a large container ready to be used as a fertiliser. Egg shells can be recycled as fertilizer for the garden. The shell contains calcium, phosphorus, sulphur and potassium, which help make plants healthy. Using a pestle, which is a hand-held tool used for mashing or grinding substances, the egg shell is ground. The smaller the egg shell pieces, the faster they will break down in the soil. The broken down shell is then mixed into the soil. Egg shells can be added to the bottom of garden containers and pots. The egg shells will add calcium to the soil in the containers, provide drainage and deter cutworms and slugs.

a chicken's egg Designed, edited and published by: Monica Whelan 2013 Typefaces: Clarendon LT Std Roman Klinic Slab Light Klinic Slab Book Klinic Slab Medium Klinic Slab Bold Stock: Snowdon cartridge paper Canson gloss paper Handmade paper 26

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