The Surprising Reason Behind the Varying Colors of Egg Yolks

Eggs are one of the most popular and vital sources of protein. Those who eat them often notice that yolks aren’t always the same color. Some yolks are orange, while others are light yellow.

What causes this color difference, and is this a reason for concern? Here, we’ll discover the surprising reason behind the varying colors of egg yolks.

Why Is Every Egg Yolk Different?

Some people believe that the color of the egg yolk indicates its nutritional value, but this isn’t the case. The color is actually the result of the hen’s diet.

A 2022 study published in the National Library of Medicine investigated the connection between hens’ nutrition and the color of egg yolk. Scientists divided hens into two groups. One group of hens was fed a basal diet, while the other was fed the same basal diet plus a specific additive containing carotenoids. Carotenoids are pigments exhibiting yellow, orange, and red colors. The results showed that hens from the second group produced darker, deep golden egg yolks.

Varying colors of egg yolks are perfectly natural, especially if the hens are pasture-raised. Since they’re free to roam around, hens don’t eat the same food, ultimately affecting the yolks’ color.

The Yolks’ Color Doesn’t Determine Their Nutritional Value

It’s important to remember that both lighter and darker egg yolks offer the same nutritional value. The only real difference is how an egg yolk looks on a plate. Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell what color an egg yolk is until you crack the egg.

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