Food & Drinks

What is that weird, white string inside an egg for?

Hint: it can actually tell how fresh your egg is.

By Amber Elias
Eggs are a diet staple these days, and it's easy to see why.
A versatile ingredient, they're full of protein and high in essential vitamins and minerals.
But eggs can also be a bit weird when they're raw, and different textures, consistencies and colours might ring alarm bells for some.
One of the oddest part of a raw egg is the squiggly white string that's connected to the yolk.
It's actually called the chalaza, (pronounced: cuh-lay-zee) and is made from a special form of protein.
It also serves an important purpose within the egg.
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Contrary to popular belief, the chalaza is not an umbilical cord for the egg.
Rather, it acts an anchor to hold the yolk within the centre of the egg shell. One string connects from the narrow point of the shell to the yolk, and another from the opposite, wider end to the other side of the yolk. The chalaza is also completely edible.
Although it can make separating the yolk from the white a bit tricky, this connecting string can actually tell you how fresh your egg is because the string disappears as the egg ages.
A fresh egg with have a firmer, whiter chalaza, while an older egg will have an unnoticeable or absent chalaza.
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What are the benefits of eating eggs?

Eggs contain 10 essential vitamins and minerals and provide the highest quality protein of any food, which means they closely match human requirements for essential amino acids.
One egg contains 10 per cent of an adult's daily vitamin A requirements, an essential vitamin needed for healthy skin, eyes and a strong immune system. Plus eggs are one of the few foods rich in vitamin D.
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