USDA study eyes egg quality, composition

There’s no substantial quality difference between organically and conventionally produced eggs. That’s one of a number of findings in a USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) study examining various aspects of egg quality.

July 7, 2010

There’s no substantial quality difference between organically and conventionally produced eggs. That’s one of a number of findings in a USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) study examining various aspects of egg quality.

ARS Food Technologist Deana Jones and her team in the Egg Safety and Quality Research Unit in Athens, Ga., found that, on average, there was no substantial quality difference between types of eggs. So, no matter which specialty egg is chosen, it will be nearly the same quality as any other egg.

The ARS team found the biggest difference was the size of egg within a carton between brown and white eggs. Though brown eggs weighed more, white shell eggs had higher percentages of total solids and crude fat. But, according to the study, there was no significant difference in the quality of white and brown eggs.

Jones and her team conducted a survey of white and brown large-shell eggs with various production and nutritional differences such as traditional, cage-free, free-roaming, pasteurized, nutritionally-enhanced, and fertile. The goal was to determine if physical quality and compositional differences exist among these different eggs.

Among the claims most often addressed on shell egg cartons are: husbandry practices, hen nutrition, enhanced egg nutrition (omega-3), organic, and fertile. Pricing for these products is typically at a premium but can vary from market to market.

This research was published in Poultry Science.

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