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Recommended intakes

Scrambled eggs with watercressThe body requires different amounts of each micronutrient because each vitamin and mineral has a different function. People also have variable requirements according to their age, sex, level of activity and state of health. The UK Department of Health has drawn up Dietary Reference Values (DRVs) for all nutrients for all different groups of healthy people in the UK [1]. 

The Reference Nutrient Intake (RNI) is set at a level that is considered to be adequate or more than adequate for almost all (97.5%) of the population. By generally consuming more than the RNI it is likely that a person's requirements will be met.  However, for the purposes of food labelling and advertising, separate RIs (reference intakes), which differ from UK RNIs, have been developed by the European Commission (2) and are used in the UK and across Europe. The table below shows the nutritional composition of 100g/2 medium size eggs and the claims which are permitted under European Nutrition and Health Claims legislation.

 

Nutritional composition of eggs (hen's egg, raw)

Nutrient

Per 100g (equivalent to the edible portion of 2 medium eggs)a

Cut-off for 'source' claim (15% RI)

RIb

Energy (kcal)
   (kJ) 547

131

--

--

Protein (g)

12.6

--

--

Carbohydrate (g)

trace

--

--

Total fat (g)

9.0

--

--

Saturated fatty acids (g)

2.5

--

--

Monounsaturated f.a (g)

3.4

--d

--

Polyunsaturated f.a (g)

1.4

--

--

     n-3 PUFA (g)

0.13

--

--

     of which DHA (g)

0.06

--e

--

     n-6 PUFA (g)

1.31

--

--

Cholesterol (mg)

350

--

--

Vitamin A (µg)

126

120

800

Vitamin D (µg)

3.2

0.75

5

Vitamin K2

7

11.3

75f

Riboflavin (vitamin B2) (µg)

0.5

0.2

1.4

Vitamin B12 (µg)

2.7

0.4

2.5

Folate (µg)

47

30

200

Biotin (µg)

20

7.5

50

Pantothenic acid (mg)

1.4

0.9

6

Choline (mg)

285

--

400g

Phosphorus (mg)

179

105

700

Iron (mg)

1.7

2.1

14

Zinc (mg)

1.1

1.5

10

Iodine (µg)

50

22.5

150

Selenium (µg)

23

8.3

55

a actual edible portion of 2 average medium (58g) eggs =101g
b RI, reference intake 
c condition for source claim - more than 12% of the energy value is protein; for rich claim more than 20% of the energy value is protein (2,3)
d condition for claim - at least 45% of total fatty acids provided by monounsaturated fat and more than 20% of total energy - http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/labellingnutrition/claims/community_regist...
e condition for claim - where the product contains at least 40mg of the sum of eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid per 100g and per 100kcal - http://ec.europa.eu/food/food/labellingnutrition/claims/community_regist...
f RI for total vitamin K
g Adequate Intake (AI) European Food Safety Authority 2016

Values in italics meet the minimum requirement to be labelled as 'a source'; values in bold meet the minimum requirement to be labelled as 'high in' according to EU regulations (2,3)

Sources: Nutritional composition data (4)

RI data (2) except g (5)

References

  1. Department of Health (1991) Dietary Reference Values for Food Energy and Nutrients for the United Kingdom. Report on Health and Social Subjects no.41. HMSO, London.

  2. European Parliament and Council (2011) Regulation No 1169/2011 on the provision of food information to consumers. Official Journal of the European Union 22.11.2011.

  3. European Parliament and Council (2006) Regulation No 1924/2006 on Nutrition and Health Claims made on Foods. Official Journal of the European Union L404.

  4. Department of Health (2012) http://www.dh.gov.uk/health/2012/06/nutrient-eggs/ (link is external)

  5. European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) Dietary Reference Values for Choline, EFSA Journal 2016;14(8):4484

All information checked by an independent Registered Nutritionist/Dietitian

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