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The nutritional value of eggs

INRA Prod. Anim. 17(5), 385-393.


1 INRA, Station de Recherches Avicoles, F-37380 Nouzilly

2 INRA, Chargé de mission auprès de la Présidente, 147 rue de l’Université, F-75338 Paris cedex 07


The egg is an encapsulated reserve of proteins,lipids, minerals and vitamins, which is remarkable forthe diversity of nutrients, their high digestibility oravailability and also for the balance between thevarious essential constituents. The avian egg has anincomparable nutritional value, not only for birds butalso for humans. It can be defined as a low calorie sourceof ideal protein for humans covering (/100 g egg) 20to 30 % of man’s daily requirements for a majority ofminerals and vitamins, with the exception of vitamin Cand calcium since the chicken embryo can use the eggshellas a nutritional reservoir. The hen’s egg as anutrient is therefore appropriate for the majority ofthe population. Eggs are easily digested and absorbed,provide several essential nutrients and are thereforevaluable in diets for infants, convalescent or elderlypatients who may have greater difficulty digesting andabsorbing nutrients. Moreover the egg is the only animalfood that can be stored uncooked at room temperaturefor a noteworthy period.

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