From omelets to quiches, eggs are an excellent source of protein and nutrients. But have you ever wondered why egg yolk colors vary and what they mean?
While people have always associated yolks with the color yellow, dark orange yolks are more desirable, and it all depends on a hen’s diet.
According to Distractify, a yolk with darker coloring indicates the presence of xanthophylls and omega-3 fatty acids, which are deposited into the hen’s eggs and concentrated in their yolks.
Pastured eggs are richer in micronutrients, such as vitamins A, D and E; beta-carotene; and omega-3s, which means that they are actually better for you. But macronutrients, like protein and fat, stay the same no matter what the yolk color is.
Dr. Hilary Shallo Thesmar, director of food safety programs for the Egg Nutrition Center, says: "Richer-colored egg yolks are more likely to come from free-range hens. Free-range hens have the opportunity to eat more pigmented foods, and the pigment is then transferred to the yolk.”
According to The Incredible Egg, hens fed mashes containing yellow corn lay eggs with medium yellow yolks, while those who eat wheat or barley have lighter-colored yolks. Natural yellow-orange substances may be added to light-colored feeds to enhance the color of the yolk.