The Parts of an Egg
1 -- Shell
Outer covering of egg, composed mainly of calcium carbonate. May be white or
brown depending on breed of chicken. Color does not affect quality, flavor,
cooking characteristics, nutritional value, or shell thickness.
2 -- Shell Membranes
Two membranes -- outer and inner -- just inside the shell surrounding the
albumen (white). Provide protective barrier against bacterial penetration. Air
cell forms between membranes.
3 -- Air Cell
Pocket of air usually found at large end of the egg between shell membranes.
Caused by contraction of contents while egg cools after laying. Increases in
size with age.
4 -- Outer Thin Albumen (White)
Nearest to the shell. Spreads around thick white of high-quality egg.
5 -- Firm or Inner Thick Albumen (White)
Excellent source of riboflavin and protein. In high-quality eggs, stands higher
and spreads less than thin white. In low-quality eggs, appears like thin white.
6 -- Chalazae
Twisted, cord-like strands of egg white. Anchor yolk in center of thick white.
Prominent, thick chalazae indicate high quality and freshness.
7 -- Vitelline (Yolk)Membrane
Colorless membrane surrounding yolk.
8 -- Yolk
Yellow portion of egg. Color varies with feed of the hen; does not indicate
nutritional content. Major source of vitamins, minerals, almost half of the
protein, and all of the fat and cholesterol. Germinal disc; slight depression
barely noticeable on side of yolk.