Had un oeuf of peeling? Shell out for the ultimate fast food this Easter!
Scientists may have cracked it for millions of time-strapped consumers by inventing the ultimate convenience food – an egg with an edible shell.
While identical to a regular hen’s egg, boiling water activates a chemical process in the shell to render it palatable for the human digestive system.
Shell-shocked customers are expected to flock to get their hands on the eggs which are hitting supermarket shelves today (Easter Monday) in special packs to mark the biggest holiday weekend of the year for the breakfast favourite.
The product was developed by scientists at the British Egg Industry Council after research showed people could not be bothered to peel eggs.
A team of egg heads spent four years developing the product from farmyard to supermarket shelf. The breakthrough came after tests showed that hens consuming a diet rich in a soluble form of calcium produced eggs capable of shell texture transformation. The ration given to hens was then refined over a period of six months to guarantee the transformation occurs at boiling point.
Emerging research* has shown that egg shells contain important nutrients – much like the outer of vegetables such as potatoes and carrots. But this is the first time that scientists have been able to transform a previously indigestible food into something palatable.
Andrew Joret, Chairman of the British Egg Industry Council, said: “This is a significant step for the UK egg industry. It elevates the humble egg from a traditional staple to the absolute latest in fast food, without compromising on its natural qualities and nutritional benefits.”
OverEasyEggs are available in packs of six (£1.25) and 12 (£1.55) in ‘egg’ flavour, described by its creators as a ‘half way point between white and yolk’. Plans are underway for versions tasting of Hollandaise sauce, chilli and even chocolate.
April Istone, 23, from London, was among the first to taste the product. She said: “It felt really strange at first to bite into the shell, but when you think of it as the egg’s ‘skin’ it wasn’t so bad. And they actually tasted great. I’d boil a couple before work and have them as snacks during the day.”
*Yolkanda W and April I (2012) Activation of Surface Components by Dietary Means, Poultry Journal 1:4.