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Nutritional values in an egg

The average number of eggs consumed in Germany is currently 205 per person per year. [localise to your Market stats or remove this intro] Eggs are therefore just as popular today as they ever were – and not just at Easter. Rightly so, since they taste delicious and contain valuable protein, lots of vitamins and important minerals. They do, nonetheless, also contain a relatively high amount of fat and cholesterol. To help you get the most from these little power packs of energy, there are a few simple rules for buying, storing and preparation.

The egg

Buying – understanding the information on the label

You can tell if the eggs on the shelf are fresh by the best before date. This is a maximum of 28 days after the date of laying. The producer code will tell you where the egg has come from: the first number indicates the type of farming, then comes the country code. For example, an egg with the identification code 3-DE-0845219 comes from a caged hen (3) and the country of origin is Germany (DE). The numbers that follow comprise a numerical code that identifies the region, factory and stall. In addition, the eggs are classified according to quality and size.

Nutritional values in an egg

Nutritional values

based on 60g, corresponds to one large egg

Recommended daily intake Men*

Recommended daily intake Women*

Energy: 391 kJ (94 kcal) 2,400 kcal 1,900 kcal
Protein 7.68g 59g 47g
Fat 6.78g highest 30% energy supply highest 30% energy supply
Cholesterol 238mg highest 300mg highest 300mg
Carbohydrate 0.4g at least 50% energy supply at least 50% energy supply
Vitamin A 163 µg Ret.. 1.0mg 0.8mg
Vit. B12 1.12 µg 3.0 µg 3.0 µg
Vit. D 1.76 µg 5.0 µg 5.0 µg
Folic acid 40.2 µg 400.0 µg 400.0 µg
Iron 1.2mg 10.0mg 15.0mg
Zinc 810 µg 10.0mg 7.0mg

* Guideline amounts for adults (between 25 and 51)
Source: The large GU Nutritional Information table, 2006/07.

The egg

Storage – ideally packaged and in a cool place

To keep eggs as fresh as possible they should always be stored in the fridge after purchasing. An egg box is ideal for this. It protects the eggs from other aromas that can otherwise easily permeate through the porous eggshell. Undamaged raw eggs can safely be stored until the best before date and then eaten after being cooked.

Preparation – eggs are extremely versatile

Eggs are used both raw, in desserts or mayonnaise, or cooked. Use only very fresh eggs for dishes that will not be heated. At the very latest after the best before date eggs should be well cooked through until both the yolk and white are firm.

Have you tried combining eggs with a vegetable risotto or a green sauce? Try our recipes for delicious egg dishes:

  • Spelt vegetable risotto with watercress cream
  • Boiled eggs in a green sauce

Production – farming is strictly monitored

The egg

Throughout Europe the farming methods for laying hens are classified in terms of free-range, barnyard and battery-farmed. The respective standards required are regularly monitored and tightened. According to the animal welfare regulation on keeping farmyard animals, keeping laying hens in comparatively narrow battery cages, which was common in the past, has, in principle, been banned in Germany since 2007. Exceptions apply only to factories who have submitted a binding operational and reconstruction plan to the authorities. These facilities must also provide more space by no later than 2009. According to the regulation regarding laying hens, this includes providing a nest for egg laying, sufficient access to feed and water and adequate resting areas. It also includes meeting each species’ needs in terms of pecking, scratching and dust bathing.

How much should we be eating?

Eggs contain vitamins and minerals – however they are also high in fat and cholesterol. Nutritional experts therefore recommend a maximum of two to three eggs per week. At Easter it is fine to eat more, as an exception. It is not a problem for healthy people to consume more cholesterol now and again.

Consistent egg quality

With modern farming and feeding requirements egg production and shell quality remain consistent throughout the year. A hen can lay up to 300 eggs per year – i.e. almost one egg a day.

Suitability for specific diets

Those who suffer from increased blood lipid levels and arteriosclerosis should limit their overall consumption of eggs and other animal fats. People with an allergy to egg protein must avoid eggs and egg products. The allergy is usually due to the egg albumen. The yolk can often be tolerated. If you experience any signs of an allergic reaction or intolerance you should take the precaution of talking to your doctor.