What is an Egg?
Commercially available chicken eggs that we are used to seeing and using as food are not fertilized, therefore they are just a reproductive cell that cannot develop into a chicken. Eggs have a calcium carbonate shell that protects the inner albumen (egg white) and the yolk.
A fertilized egg is an embryonic offspring of a bird, reptile, amphibian, platypus and many other animals. If kept at the proper temperature within the proper environment for its species, the egg will hatch into a living creature.
Other than Fried or Boiled Eggs, Why are Eggs so Prevalent in Other Food Products?
The proteins in eggs make them great to be used as a binding ingredient in other foods. Meatloaf is a great example of eggs being used as a binder to help hold the ground meat of the meatloaf together in order to improve texture.
Eggs are also used to whip up fluffy texture foods such as a dessert mousse and meringues of pies such as lemon meringue or banana cream. Eggs are in almost every bread and cake recipe and are used in many salads and dressings such as mayonnaise.
How do I Know if Eggs Are in my Food?
The main things to look for on the ingredient list are the words egg, egg whites, egg yolks, dried eggs, egg powder and other words that actually state the word “egg.” The next thing to consider is any word on the ingredient list that starts out with “ovaâ€ or “ovo.”
See also, Hidden Egg In Your Food.
How Common is an Egg Intolerance?
An intolerance to eggs is different from an egg allergy. Though egg allergies are not as common as egg intolerance it still does occur. Egg allergies are more likely to occur in children. An allergy is an immune response with symptoms such as mild hives and breathing issues to severe life-threatening anaphylactic shock. An intolerance can manifest in many different ways.
If other gastrointestinal issues have been ruled out and a person suffers symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, constipation and cramping after eating certain foods or foods containing certain ingredients, then an intolerance should be highly suspected.
Each of us becomes acutely aware of patterns occurring in our health. If there ever is a thought that eggs are causing the symptoms of food intolerance, it should be considered and explored.
How Common is an Egg Allergy?
Egg allergies are more likely to be discovered in children and many of the children who have milder egg allergies will outgrow them over time. At least that is what is commonly thought. Some people may continue to have a lifelong mild allergic reaction to eggs which cause a chronic inflammatory response that is unhealthy or the allergy may decline to an intolerance. There are untold numbers of people who suffer symptoms from mild to moderate on a chronic basis over entire lifetimes due to unresolved food allergy and intolerance issues.
Which is More Common, Egg White or Egg Yolk Intolerance?
A chicken’s egg is made up of different proteins. The proteins change depending on if the eggs are raw or whether they are cooked. Typically a consumer can separate out most of the yolk from the white at home and there are different egg products available that are either yolk or white. Since we can limit the ingestion of either yolk or white, those who are intolerant of eggs still hope be able to consume eggs. This brings up the question of which is the worse offender, the yolk or the white?
Typically there seems to be an increased number of individuals who are allergic to the white of an egg so it may hold true that those intolerant to eggs may be by and large more intolerant to the whites than the yolks. There are over 40 proteins in the white with the yolk not having anywhere near as many. It is the proteins that cause the allergic reactions that involve the immune system so considering it may very well be the proteins causing the intolerance issues is not a stretch of the imagination at all.
So if there is a need or intense desire to consume eggs though there may be an intolerance to consider, then eliminating the whites of eggs first to determine if that is the cause is okay.
What Foods Contain Egg?
Eggs are in the flu vaccination. The vaccine is incubated in eggs. That is how it is made. With that little bit of knowledge it helps to make it easier to comprehend that eggs can be anywhere. Our modern society can strip, pull apart, recombine, mix and mash individual components of the egg to be used in a vast variety of ways from medications to cosmetics.
Some foods are â€œwashedâ€ in egg whites such as some alcoholic and soft drinks. Eggs can be used to coagulate, bind or emulsify making it likely that they can be in just about anything processed that a person could consume. Eggs may be in the bologna from the deli or any other processed meat. If the food is a dressing for salads or a sauce, there is a high likelihood that it contains parts of eggs.
If there is a concern that there is an egg intolerance and there is a food that is well liked but is causing symptoms even though there is no indication it contains eggs, ask the manufacturer. Look on the back label for a toll-free number for consumer inquiries.