Sunday, October 1

How to distinguish between real and counterfeit eggs


KUCHING: The recent reports of fake eggs in Pulau Tikus, Penang has also rattled consumers here, although there have been no reports of such counterfeits in the state so far.

Consumers have been seeking advice on how to differentiate the fake items from genuine eggs, including from online sources.

ChinaHush, a website in mainland China where fake eggs are believed to have first originated, suggests the following for consumers to identify fake eggs.

1. After cracking the fake egg, the white and yolk will mix together quickly.
2. Fake eggs have slightly shinier shells than real ones.
3. The shells of the fake eggs feel slightly rougher.
4. You will hear sloshing sounds when you shake a fake egg as liquid will flow from the solid agent.
5. Real eggs smell like raw meat.
6. Tapping a real egg lightly will generate a crisp sound when compared to a fake egg.
7. When frying a fake egg, the yolk will spread without being touched.

Fake egg shells are reportedly made of calcium carbonate, paraffin wax and gypsum powder.

The counterfeit egg yolk and white are said to be made of sodium alginate, alum, gelatin, edible calcium chloride, benzoic acid, water and food colouring.

On Wednesday, Consumers Association of Penang president SM Mohamed Idris was reported as saying that a housewife had brought fake eggs to his office after finding something strange when she tried to cook them.

She apparently said the eggs did not smell like real ones, were tasteless, had unusual shapes and were larger than real eggs.

“The fake egg also had a rougher surface than the genuine one. When cracked, there was no sign of chalaza, the structure inside the egg that keeps the yolk in place.

“The fake egg white and yolk quickly mixed together, unlike that of real eggs,” Idris said.

He added that after boiling the egg and cutting it open, the yolk appeared to be more yellow than that of a normal egg.

The fake eggs were apparently being sold at RM11 per tray.

Officers from the Ministry of Domestic Trade, Cooperatives and Consumerism on Thursday seized 270 eggs from stalls at the Pulau Tikus wet market following the media reports of fake eggs. The Penang Health Department has sent samples of the eggs for laboratory tests in Kuala Lumpur and the results are expected to be known within a week.