EGG – ITS COMPOSITION AND FUNCTIONS
Eggs are laid by females of many different species, including birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish, and have probably been eaten by mankind for millennia. Bird and reptile eggs consist of a protective eggshell, albumen (egg white), and vittles (egg yolk), contained within various thin membranes. Popular choices for egg consumption are chicken, duck, quail, roe, and caviar, but the egg most often consumed by humans is the chicken egg, by a wide margin. Egg yolks and whole eggs store significant amounts of protein and choline, and are widely used in cookery. Due to their protein content, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) categorizes eggs as Meats within the Food Guide Pyramid. Bird eggs are a common food and one of the most versatile ingredients used in cooking. They are important in many branches of the modern food industry. The most commonly used bird eggs are those from the chicken. Duck and goose eggs, and smaller eggs, such as quail eggs, are occasionally used as a gourmet ingredient, as are the largest bird eggs, from ostriches. Chicken eggs are widely used in many types of dishes, both sweet and savory, including many baked goods. Some of the most common preparation methods include scrambled, fried, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, and pickled. They can also be eaten raw, though this is not recommended for people who may be especially susceptible to salmonellosis, such as the elderly, the infirm, or pregnant women. As an ingredient, egg yolks are an important emulsifier in the kitchen, and the proteins in egg white allow it to form foams and aerated dishes. The albumen, or egg white, contains protein but little or no fat, and can be used in cooking separately from the yolk. Egg whites may be aerated or whipped to a light, fluffy consistency, and are often used in desserts such as meringues and mousse. Ground egg shells...
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