Written by the MasterClass staff
Brown Eggs vs. White Eggs: What’s the Difference?
Brown eggs and white eggs are similar in nutritional value and taste, but there are a few key differences:
Color: The key difference between these two types of eggs is the color of the eggshell.
Cost: On average, brown eggs are larger than white eggs, and therefore brown eggs cost more.
Yolk: Brown eggs may have less yolk than white eggs.
What Causes Different Eggshell Colors?
Different types of chickens lay eggs of varying colors. White eggs typically come from White Rock, Cornish, and White Leghorn breeds of chickens and brown eggs often come from Plymouth Rock, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island Reds. Blue-green or pale blue eggs come from the Araucana, Ameraucana, Dongxiang, and Lushi chickens. Brown eggs get their color from the pigment protoporphyrin-IX, blue eggs get their color from biliverdin-IX, and green eggs get their color from both protoporphyrin-IX and biliverdin-IX.
How to Select Eggs
When purchasing eggs, be sure to check the expiration date and that no eggs are cracked. Some other considerations for selecting eggs include:
1. Size and protein: Color may not impact nutrition, but the egg size will. Oversized eggs generally contain 90 calories and 8 grams of protein. By contrast, medium-sized eggs typically have around 60 calories and 6 grams of protein. If you’re looking to add more protein to your diet, seek out larger eggs.
2. Nutrients: Since cage-free chickens have access to regular sunlight, their eggs tend to have vitamin D content. Hens fed a nutrient-dense meal with flaxseed, algae, or fish oils may have higher amounts of omega-3 fatty acids.
3. Egg whites: If you’re someone who prefers eating egg whites, consider getting brown eggs, as studies suggest they have less yolk. You’ll have more egg white in each egg than white-shelled eggs.
4. Egg grades: When in the grocery store, the easiest way to check egg quality is to see if the eggs are cracked. You should also consider the egg grade. U.S. grade AA eggs have thick and firm egg whites and yolks. U.S. grade A eggs have egg whites that are reasonably firm.