While the scare created by rumours on ‘plastic’ eggs being sold in the market is yet to settle down, samples lifted and tested by Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) officials here found it to be safe.
FSSAI officials here said that six egg samples lifted from different places and sent for laboratory examination were tested safe with no deformity detected. The samples were tested at Government food safety laboratory in Madurai.
The examination subjected protein, cholesterol, fat, sodium and other nutrients present in the egg samples. The shell of the egg samples were also subjected to examination. “All the samples sent for laboratory examination conformed to standards. No deformity or artificiality was found in the samples,” said O.L.S. Vijay, designated officer of FSSAI in Coimbatore.
Dr. Vijay said that hardening of inner and outer shell membrane of the eggs was dubbed as plastic egg. “The inner shell membrane of the egg, the thin membrane coming in touch with the egg white (albumen), may become harder when it is older than 15 days. Due to this, the hardened inner shell membrane may look like a thin white layer with elasticity when boiled or fried,” said Dr. Vijay.
Similarly, the outer shell membrane lying between inner shell membrane and white outer shell also gets thickened as the egg becomes older.
According to Dr. Vijay, lack of calcium in the feed given to chicken may result in the texture and quality of the outer shell. The shell becomes delicate when there is an acute deficiency of calcium.
While feeds for egg laying chickens in farms used to include varied sources of calcium including calcium powder, crushed corn and dry fish in the olden days, egg producers are learnt to be using calcium solutions nowadays.
Food safety officials said that eggs produced in Namakkal are now stamped with “best use before date” so that buyers use them before the inner shell membrane gets harder. The best use before date stamped is normally 15 days from the date of egg laying.
FSSAI officials here had received two complaints from consumers who alleged that artificial eggs with plastic presence are sold in market. While one complaint was sent by a resident of Saravanampatti in March, the second complaint was from a resident of Masakalipalayam near Singanallur in April.