Monday, April 10, 2017 1:31 pm
By Grace Essen
If you are like most moms you would agree that eggs are about the cheapest protein around especially when busy moms now depend so much on instant foods like noodles which is generally believed to have poor nutritional value. Eggs have become the easiest way for moms to add some ‘value’ to a bowl of noodles before giving it to their kids.
If the reports of fake eggs in the markets are anything to go by, moms would have to be on the lookout. According to reports, a regional TV news channel ‘exposed’ the fake eggs being sold in the markets of Idukki district, in China. As far back as 2003, Chinese workers were able to replicate chicken eggs to an astonishing degree of detail. The shell is made of well shaped calcium carbonate. Other ingredients are starch, resin, and cellulose coagulants for the egg white, and edible pigment additives for the yolk. To reduce the strong chemical smell given off by the compounds that comprise the whites and yolk, the eggs are treated with aquarium water to recreate an authentic odor. For added effect, traces of chicken droppings can be placed on the eggs. In ten minutes, the egg is complete.
A mum called my attention to the news about fake eggs and with further research I found there are tons of pictures and videos online. At first one would say, it is not likely we would have such eggs in Nigeria with farms around to produce all the eggs we need. But Fake eggs are extremely cheap to produce; a batch of ten costs just two cents – enough to attract anyone looking to make quick money at any cost. And with a video of fake eggs posted on social media by a Nigerian, we all need to watch out.
Shoppers in China were lured by low prices into buying the eggs, only to find that the yolk became hard and rubbery once cooked; an online post said the yolks bounced when thrown on the floor, another said he couldn’t even chew it.
Just in case, here’s how to check for Chinese fake eggs:
There is little in terms of appearance to differentiate between a real and a fake egg. The shell of the fake egg is slightly harder and rougher than that of a real one and there is a rubbery lining inside the shell.
On tapping a fake egg lightly, you will hear a less crisper sound than you would hear in case of a real egg.
If you break the egg and keep it for some time, the egg white and the yolk will soon mix up, since they are essentially made from the same ingredients.
The fake eggs do not stink even if cooked and kept in the open for days, and do not attract ants or flies.
When you fry a fake egg, the yolk will be spread without being touched unlike a real egg.
What I found rather surprising is that one of the manufacturers of these fake eggs in China offered egg-making lessons at $120 for anyone interested. Hewas quoted to have said he was in good terms with chicken farms and egg sellers and told farm directors that man-made eggs are far cheaper. “Who doesn’t want to make more money?” “From the farm to the wholesalers to the retailers, they all know it,” he claimed. “Only customers don’t.” Well, now we know!
Grace Essen is an author, speaker and host of Super Mum Makeover workshop. Check out Grace’s blog @Mum2MumAfrica.com. You may reach Grace on 08061367203, or via email: [email protected] Follow her on twitter @GraceEssen, find her on Facebook.