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The nutritive value of the egg

The egg is one of the most complete and versatile foods available. It consists of approximately 10% shell, 58% white and 32% yolk. Neither the colour of the shell nor that of the yolk affects the egg’s nutritive value. The average egg provides approximately 313 kilojoules of energy, of which 80% comes from the yolk.

The nutritive content of an average large egg (containing 50 g of edible egg) includes:

  • 6.3 g protein
  • 0.6 g carbohydrates
  • 5.0 g fat (this includes 0.21 g cholesterol).

    Egg protein is of high quality and is easily digestible. Almost all of the fat in the egg is found in the yolk and is easily digested.


    Eggs contain every vitamin except vitamin C. They are particularly high in vitamins A, D, and B12, and also contain B1 and riboflavin. Provided that laying hens are supplemented according to the Optimum Vitamin Nutrition concept (see chapter ‘Optimum vitamin nutrition of laying hens’), eggs are an important vehicle to complement the essential vitamin supply to the human population.


    Eggs are a good source of iron and phosphorus and also supply calcium, copper, iodine, magnesium, manganese, potassium, sodium, zinc, chloride and sulphur. All these minerals are present as organic chelates, highly bioavailable, in the edible part of the egg.

    © The State of Queensland, Australia (through its Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries) and DSM Nutritional Products Ltd., 2007. No part of this publication may be reproduced, copied or transmitted save with prior written permission of Director, Intellectual Property Commercialisation Unit, Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries, GPO Box 46 Brisbane, Queensland, Australia 4001, and DSM Nutritional Products Ltd.
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