Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fake Eggs from China!

Fake Eggs from China! (Shocking - must read)

Beware u guys and gals!

During a recent raid on a wholesale centre in Guangzhou city, the capital of China 's Guangdong province, a large quantity of fake eggs was seized.

Their wholesale price is 0.15 yuan (S$0.03) each - half the price of a real egg.

Consumers have a hard time telling a genuine egg from a fake one. This is good news for unscrupulous entrepreneurs, who are even conducting three-day courses in the production of artificial eggs for less than S$150. A reporter with Hong Kong-based Chinese magazine East Week enrolled in one such course.

To create egg white, the instructor - a woman in her 20s - used assorted ingredients such as gelatin, an unknown powder, benzoic acid, coagulating material and even alum, which is normally used for industrial processes.

For egg yolk, some lemon-yellow colouring powder is mixed to a liquid and the concoction stirred. The liquid is then poured into a round-shaped plastic mould and mixed with so-called 'magic water', which contains calcium chloride.

This gives the 'yolk' a thin outer membrane, firming it up. The egg is then shaped with a mould. The shell is not forgotten. Paraffin wax and an unidentified white liquid are poured onto the fake egg, which is then left to dry.

The artificial egg can be fried sunny-side up or steamed. Although bubbles appear on the white of the egg, those who have tasted it say the fake stuff tastes very much like the real thing.

But experts warn of the danger of eating fake eggs. Not only do they not contain any nutrients, a Hong Kong Chinese University professor warned that long-term consumption of alum could cause dementia

To make the egg white, various ingredients, including a powder and alum, are mixed together.

The 'yolk' is shaped in the round mould. 'Magic water' containing calcium chloride is used.

Hardy shells are formed by pouring paraffin wax and a liquid onto the egg, which are then left to dry. 

If you're like me you like a pinch of salt on your eggs . . . I'm pretty sure that's how you should take this story.  

This story has been floating around the interwebs for years; often touted as factual.   However, it seems unlikely to me for a number of reasons.  The first being that what could be easier and cheaper than a chicken popping out an egg?  Why would anyone go through the effort of manufacturing something that requires none at all?

Secondly, it would seem to me that making an egg would not only be time consuming but the cost of the materials would make the fake eggs prohibitively expensive in comparison to real eggs.  

Lastly, the fake eggs are a purely chemical concoction.  I can't imagine how they could possible taste like the real thing.

Why would someone endeavor to do this?  I guess because they can . . . some people have way too much time on their hands.


I have friends that have a brood of laying hens.  They sell the eggs but often have way more eggs on hand than they can possible sell.  I hate to see their wonderful eggs go to waste . . . because fresh is so much better than store bought . . . so it got me thinking about find out the best way to preserve fresh eggs.    I found a couple time tested methods that have been in use since before refrigeration was available and are still in use in some Amish communities.

First and foremost . . . . these methods will only work for FRESH eggs.  It will not work for processed grocery store eggs.

If found this method here . . .

Store the eggs in a finely ground preservative such as salt, bran, or an equal mix of finely ground charcoal and dry bran or finely ground oats. 
Store the eggs layer upon layer, so long as you they don’t touch each other, metal, or wood.  Be sure you have enough finely ground preservative to pack them in.  (The salt and bran can be used for animal feed later)
Store the eggs small side down.  This allows the yolk to settle into the egg white which has antibacterial properties.
Store the eggs in a covered container and keep in a cool, dry place – do not expose the eggs to extreme heat or cold.
Eggs will keep “fresh” for up to 9 months.  In fact, some countries are known to have stored their eggs like this for up to 2 years. 

According to this source, the “water glass” method gives the best and most dependable results for preserving eggs.  “Water Glass” or “liquid glass” is sodium silicate and is the generic name for sodium metasilicate.  Water glass is not as common as it used to be and may difficult or expensive to obtain.  See recipe below to make your own. 

Make sure the eggs have no cracks or imperfections. One cracked egg will spoil the entire crock of eggs.

Water Glassing Eggs

Water glass needs to be diluted. I use the 11 to 1 ratio recipe – or 11 parts water to 1 part water glass (sodium silicate). For about 16 eggs you will need 1 quart of water to 1/3 cup of water glass.

The water should be measured out, boiled and then allowed to cool completely.

Sterilize a clean ceramic crock, plastic bucket, wooden keg or other container with boiling water.  Avoid using metal containers.

Pour the cooled water into the crock and then add the water glass and stir well.

Place the fresh eggs pointed side down into the crock.

You can fit many eggs into a crock and eggs can be stacked on top of one another until the crock is filled. Make sure that at least 2″ to 3″ of liquid covers the eggs at all times and the crock also should be covered.

The best success is obtained when the crock is stored in a cool dry location.

When the eggs are needed for cooking remove them from the crock and wash them and then break them into a separate bowl to check the quality by smell and visual examination.  You may note that the viscosity of the egg white will have changed but the flavor is still good and acceptable for general cooking purposes. Sometimes the yolk will take on a very dark orange red color but it is harmless.
When boiling eggs that have been water glassed you will need to prick the eggshell with a pin. Because the eggshell is no longer porous the steam will build up inside the egg while it is boiling and explode.

Fresh, unwashed eggs kept in a solution of water glass will remain good and usable for 6 to 9 months when properly collected and stored.


You can prepare sodium silicate or water glass from gel beads (silica) and lye (sodium hydroxide).

All you need to make a sodium silicate solution are water, silica, and sodium hydroxide. Silica comes in those little packets labeled 'do not eat' with electronics, shoes, etc.

2 Teaspoon silica gel beads (crushed)
1-1/2 Teaspoon
1/2 cup water

Wear proper safety gear, which includes gloves and eye protection
Slowly pour lye into water.
Once the lye is dissolved, slowly add the 6 grams of crushed silica gel beads.


I haven’t tried either method but I’m interested in attempting the water glass method and making my own solution.  Future blog post!!

Pickling eggs is another good method but they must be refrigerated.  


Basic Pickled Eggs (Recipe for One Quart)

12 Extra Large Eggs

1 1/2 Cups Distilled White Vinegar

1 1/2 Cups Water
¾ Teaspoon Dill Seed
¼ Teaspoon White Pepper

3 Teaspoons Salt
1 Clove Garlic, Crushed

Place eggs in a medium saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. 

Remove from hot water, cool and peel.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, mix together the vinegar, water and pickling spice. Bring to a boil and mix in the garlic and bay leaf. Remove from heat.

Transfer the eggs to sterile container. Fill the containers with the hot vinegar mixture, seal and refrigerate 8 to 10 days before serving.

These were sooooo good!  The best pickled eggs I've ever tasted with a nice texture and amazing garlic/dill flavor.  NOM!

All of the eggs I used in this recipe were courtesy of my good friends Stephanie and Phil.  

If you live in or near Connecticut and want farm fresh eggs, contact Stephanie for pricing and availability.

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