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Let's talk yolk colour

We’ve been there too.

You come home from the grocery store to crack open a new dozen of eggs, only to notice that instead of the sunny-side-up yellow yolk you’re used to, you see a pale looking yellow.

So what’s the deal? Why is this yolk such a different colour? Is one colour better to eat than the other? Should I be buying a different type of egg?

These are all valid questions, and luckily, they are all fairly easy to answer.

The most simple and straightforward answer: Go ahead with your breakfast.

Whether the yolk is a vibrant or pale yellow, or even in some cases a deep orange, all of these eggs are fresh and safe to eat.

So what causes the different coloured yolks?

The yolk colour is actually related to the hen’s diet. So depending on what the main source of feed she is eating, the yolk colour can vary.

Eggs that come from hens that are fed a predominantly wheat diet (like those in Western Canada) tend to have a more pale yolk. In Ontario, where most hens receive a diet that is higher in corn and soy, the yolk will be a brighter, more vibrant yellow. The degree of yellow found in the yolk is simply reflective of the abundance of carotenoids that can be found in corn.

Occasionally, you can also find yolks that are a deeper orange colour. These eggs may come from hens that are kept in a free range environment, especially during the summer months. Free range hen’s diets will change throughout the year (it is dependent on season), so yolks of this colour may not always be available at your local grocery store.

But what about their nutrient value?

Again, this is a fairly simply answer. Regardless of the colour of the egg yolk, they are all virtually nutritionally equal. The only exceptions to this rule are with Vitamin D and Omega-3 eggs. These eggs will have higher levels of Vitamin D or Omega-3 fatty acids, again because of the hen’s diet. The simple addition of flax seed to the hen’s feed increases the Omega-3 found in the eggs, while increasing the amount of Vitamin D in the hens diet will result in being passed on to the egg.

So wherever you’re buying you eggs and whatever type you like to buy, the most important tip we can give you is: Don’t skip the yolk!

 

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