Egg yolk pigmentation

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Egg yolk pigmentation

Does colour really matter?

Consumers of table eggs associate an intense yolk colour with good health of the laying hen, as well as with palatability and high nutritional value of eggs as a food product. However, there are geographical differences in preference. Asian consumers prefer an orange to red yolk while the Europeans tend towards a golden yellow colour which increases from Northern to Southern countries.

Why are egg yolks yellow?

When the follicle matures in the ovary of laying hens, yellow pigments - carotenoids - are stored in the yolk, which have been ingested with the feed.  

The function of the yolk for the embryo is to provide nutrients and active substances for its development. The health effects of carotenoids also play an important role for the growing embryo, especially the antioxidant protective effect.  

A colourful challenge with a bright solution

Maintaining the colour of egg yolks is a challenge indeed, as numerous factors, such as changes in feed formulation, gut health, fat digestion or the age of the laying hens all have an influence on pigmentation. Even more so, because retailers and the egg-processing industries precisely specify the colour they want by using the color fan or a photometre. Deviations from the specified colour render the eggs unsuitable for the intended purpose. 

Adding colourants to the hens’ diet allows you to steer the desired colour via the feed and avoid any economic losses that may result from not achieving the right colour! Carotenoids from natural sources and chemical synthesis are available in the EU, and regulated as sensory additives. The higher the dosage, the more intense the pigmentation effect, whereby the double digit colours on the fan can only be achieved through supplementation with red pigments to an existing yellow base. 

Add a little Kaesler colour to your hens’ diet 

Avizant Yellow 20 HS and Avizant Yellow 40 HS are natural yellow pigments (lutein, zeaxanthin) gained from marigold flowers (Tagetes Erecta) using a high degree of saponification for efficient pigmentation. 

Avixanthin 100 is a stabilised micro-granulated canthaxanthin with high bio-availability to guarantee intense egg yolk pigmentation.

Our products to support egg yolk pigmentation
  • Colourants

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Use Kaesler’s range of colourants to enhance the beauty of nature.

    Find out more

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