Production of eggs and egg products

Eggs are produced for 3 main purposes:

1. Hatching eggs

2. Shell eggs for direct consumption

3. Shell eggs for the production of egg poroducts.

Eggs are supposed to be the most complete food, although there is one subject that attract attention for many years. With all media attention on cholesterol, consumers often lose sight of the fact that eggs are a rich nutrient and an affordable contributor to a healthy diet. Not only do eggs contain the highest quality source of protein available but they also contain almost every essential vitamin and mineral needed by humans. Eggs have a biological value (efficacy with which protein is used for growth) of 93.7%. Comparable values are 84.5% for milk, 76% for fish, and 74.3% for beef. Eggs really are the best protein money can buy, and all those other valuable vitamins and minerals are present too.
Cholesterol is present in every cell in the body. The brain and nerve cells especially contain a lot of cholesterol. Cholesterol helps the body to form vitamin D and helps make different kinds of hormones. Finally cholesterol is also needed to form bile which in turn is needed for digestion of food products.

The human liver produces 800 mg of cholesterol every day, and we take in an additional 150 mg a day through our food. The human body thus makes five times more cholesterol than we eat. If we eat to much, our body will to a certain extend correct the level of cholesterol in our body by producing less.

When experts warn people about cholesterol, they mean cholesterol that is in the blood stream and not cholesterol in food sources. The amount of cholesterol only has a small influence on cholesterol in your blood. Cholesterol in blood is mainly correlated to the amount of saturated fat in a person’s diet. If a person’s cholesterol is too high that person should switch to a diet eating only meals made in unsaturated fats.

The average egg consumption per person per year varies between different countries. The table below gives an overview of the egg consumption per person per year in different countries over the world.

Source: Table world poultry egg consumption (The world poultry trends executive guide 2003-2004 page 36)

Nutritional value of an egg

To get a better insight on the nutritional value of the egg, the table below gives a detailed description of the nutrient content of eggs.

Nutrient Content of a Large Egg

There are different routes where eggs are distributed

1 shell eggs for human consumption: Grade A shell eggs (see chapter packing and processing of eggs) eggs for breaking plants

3.fertile eggs for hatcheries

4.damaged eggs (Grade B or C) for egg breaking plants or for animal feed

Eggs that are not packed for consumption are processed in different products. These products can be classified as refrigerated liquid, frozen, dried and special products. For many years, eggs were marketed primarily as whole shell eggs, but in recent years egg consumption in the form of egg products increased. Egg products are used world-wide by food service industry, commercial food industry, cosmetic industry and painting industry.

The term "egg products" refers to eggs that have been removed from their shells for processing. The processing of egg products includes breaking eggs, filtering, mixing, stabilising, blending, pasteurising, refrigerating or drying and packaging. Basic egg products include whole shell eggs, whites, yolks and various blends with or without non-egg ingredients that are processed and pasteurised and may be available in liquid, frozen, and dried forms.

Perception of egg quality depends on which sector of the production and marketing channel carries the evaluation out. Producers tend to relate quality to productivity, consumers to visual traits and industrials to final product quality. In a practical sense there are three major physical characteristics of eggs which consumers can describe qualitatively and quantitatively. Shell, albumin and yolk characteristics are to different degrees the criteria on which basis the quality judgment is made.