This is why egg yolks are orange, in case you were wondering

May 3, 2017

An egg with deep, sunset-orange yolks is a thing of beauty, but where does that color come from? It’s not a natural trait of a fancy European breed of hen or a sign of overly pampered birds. The yolk color actually comes from what the hens eat: a diet rich in carotenoids, the natural yellow-orange pigment found in fruits (cantaloupe), vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, and kale), and flowers.

Getty Images/Pakornc

An egg with deep, sunset-orange yolks is a thing of beauty, but where does that color come from? It’s not a natural trait of a fancy European breed of hen or a sign of overly pampered birds. The yolk color actually comes from what the hens eat: a diet rich in carotenoids, the natural yellow-orange pigment found in fruits (cantaloupe), vegetables (carrots, sweet potatoes, and kale), and flowers.
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No artificial color additives are allowed in chicken feed, so any orange yolks you spot come from a pure source. Often marigold flowers are added to a hen’s diet to achieve the color. Free-range birds often snack on grass and small insects, which are also high in carotenoids.

This article originally appeared in Cookinglight.com

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