Whether it is for an omelette, French toast or a cake – the versatile chicken egg is the base of countless recipes across cuisines.
With the poultry product being a staple in almost every kitchen around the world, we spoke to experts from one of the biggest chicken farms in the UAE to share tips on how to shop for and make the most of eggs.
Established in 1999, Al Jazira Poultry Farm was the first egg poultry farm in Dubai and provides its products across the UAE. They shared what to keep in mind next time you head to the grocery store to buy and store eggs.
Picking the best eggs
According to Khalid Shaikh, sales manager at the Al Jazira Poultry Farm, with over 15 years of experience in the poultry industry, there are a number of indicators, which people can look out for to get the freshest eggs. According to Shaikh, the fresher the eggs the better.
“Look at the date of production to ensure freshness, eggs produced in the UAE have dates printed on them,” he said.
As for the physical attributes to look for when purchasing eggs, he said: “Eggs should be clean and intact – free of any dirt and with no cracks.”
On the other hand, there are also ways to spot a spoilt egg. “Unusual visual appearance and an unpleasant odour are the most obvious signs of spoilt eggs,” he said.
How UAE ensures quality in locally produced eggs
Shaikh said: “The UAE follows highest quality standards and poultry farms are monitored. The imported raw materials used at these farms are also of high quality, which ensures the best quality of the end products.”
The UAE also has an indicator on egg cartons, which buyers can spot.
“Always look for the Emirates Quality Mark (EQM) certification on locally produced eggs, it means that the producer has met the highest standards of production,” Shaikh said.
“Now there are multiple extra nutritious eggs produced in the UAE such as eggs enriched with Folic Acid, Omega 3; Vitamin E, Lutein and more, which are very cost-effective means of getting these essential nutrients,” he added.
Do you have to refrigerate eggs?
There has been a debate over whether eggs need to be refrigerated and Al Jazira Poultry Farm has clarified the confusion and shared the safest way to store them.
“Eggs must be stored in a refrigerator as quickly as possible after purchasing. This will maintain their quality and avoid spoilage,” Shaikh said.
Do eggs expire?
“As per UAE statutory rules, eggs have a 90-days-long shelf life provided they are intact, clean and stored properly at temperatures between 4 to 10 °C,” he said.
These conditions can be easily maintained at home, as most refrigerators are generally set at 1 to 4 °C.
There has also been reports on identifying eggs, which have expired by checking whether they float in water. According to US-based website eggsafety.org: "Eggs have an air cell that becomes larger as the egg ages and acts as a buoyancy aid. An egg can float in water when its air cell has enlarged sufficiently to keep it buoyant. This means the egg is older, but it may be perfectly safe to use."
Brown versus white eggs, which one to pick?
Some swear that brown eggs are “healthier” and “more natural”, while others believe that white eggs taste better, but is there any truth to these claims?
Al Jazira Poultry Farm representative said: “There is no difference in the taste or the nutritional value between the two; it is only the colour of the shells, which is different due to the breeds of hens.”
Are you looking to make a recipe with eggs as the star of the dish? Visit our Food section with recipes from around the world.