Eggs are a rich haven of healthy proteins thanks to the yolk. You'll also agree that only a few more other foods provide that pleasure of cutting into a runny yolk. But did you know that the color of an egg yolk holds significance to its contents? Below, we discuss the different color variations of egg yolks and what meaning they have.
The traditional belief about egg yolks' color variations is that a richer-colored yolk is healthier and more nutritious. However, this is far from the truth; in fact, yolks with a darker hue have the same amount of protein and fat as yolks with lighter shades.
Still, some studies have published that eggs from hens raised in pastures can have more omega-3s and vitamins but less cholesterol due to the hens' healthier, highly proteinous and more natural feed on plants and insects.
Overall, regardless of its visible characteristics, an egg will always provide you with nutrients and that yummy proteinous goodness they are known for.
So, worry not! Egg yolks range in color from pale yellow to deep orange, depending on the hen's diet. The darker color of a yolk signals carotenoids, which are natural pigments found in some plants. The availability of carotenoid-rich plants for chickens' consumption affects the "orangeness" you see in the yolks of their eggs.
Ultimately, the egg yolk color is really just an indicator of the hen's diet! If they eat more yellow-orange carotenoids or natural pigments, it affects and changes the yolk's color.
Here's the spectrum of the yolk color variations:
This signifies that the hen had a diet that had lower xanthophyll content. Such a feeding regimen was most likely limited to a high quantity of wheat, white cornmeal, or barley.
This signifies that the hen's mainly included green plants, yellow corn, alfalfa, other plant material with xanthophylls pigment (a yellow-orange hue), and a small number of proteins. This cumulatively produces the darker yellow-orange yolk that is most commonly seen.
This hints at the eggs being products of hens raised on pastures and allowed to roam freely. Such hen has a well-balanced and nourishing diet of crops and bugs, increasing its eggs' carotenoid and protein content.
While these yolk colors don't significantly influence the nutritional value of the eggs, food experts argue that the yolks of a darker-hue have a richer taste compared to lighter yolks!
What do you think?