The Color Of An Egg’s Yolk Can Speak Volumes

Egg yolks, much like our preferences, can vary in color—from yellow to orange to even the color red in some cases.  What many don’t know though is that the color of the egg yolk can speak volumes to its quality and nutritional content.

Researchers are quick to state that reading an egg yolk can be complicated.

Image: Today Show

For years, it was just accepted that a darker, more yellow egg yolk was considered more nutritious.  It only follows that chickens that are allowed to free range, eating bugs, grass, and other foods that are considered part of their natural diet will produce a healthier, more nutritious egg.

On the other hand, chickens that are factory raised are provided with a diet based totally on grain.  As such, these chickens produce the eggs we purchase in the store, and their yolks are pale and contain only a fraction of the nutrients their farm-raised counterparts do.

Researchers determined long ago that the color of an egg’s yolk is solely based on the diet of the chicken that laid the egg.  The deepness of the color is caused by carotenoids, the same nutrients that provide butternut squash and carrots with their deep orange hues.


The larger the number of carotenoids in the chicken’s diet, the darker and oranger the yolks appearance.  This boils down to the fact that a farmer can easily control the color of his chicken’s egg yolk simply by what he feeds his chickens.

So, the next time you crack open an egg, take a moment to notice the color of the yolk.  The darker, more orange the yolk, the more nutritional content the egg will contain.  However, the lighter and paler the yolk, the less nutritional content.  I, for one, am going to start taking note and make sure I get as much nutrition from my morning breakfast as I possibly can.