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I Thought Egg Yolks Were Yellow

330 comments

So last night I was tucking away into some poached eggs lovingly made by my good lady. The toast was well buttered and the eggs were perfectly poached (i.e. still a bit runny). All was well until I cut into the second of the two eggs and was presented with the following sight:

A non-white egg yolk

I’m not sure how well you can tell from the picture (I’d already eaten the other egg which would have helped for comparison) but the egg yolk is completely white with not even a hint of yellow! The egg was well within its sell-by date and the other one (from the same batch) was just fine. Has anybody come across such a phenomenon before?

Update 1: Andy B has a better photo of a white egg yolk compared to a normal one in his comment below.

Update 2: The general consensus is that white egg yolks are perfectly safe to eat and the reason they’re white is a lack of pigment. Count yourself lucky if you ever find one – they’re pretty rare! Lots more information in the comments below.

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Scotsman, footballer, software developer, bounty hunter, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

330 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. I don’t know who you are or what this site is used for exactly, but I found it while googling “white egg yolk”. I cracked an egg today (7/19/07)that I was going to scramble and the yolk was entirely white. I have never seen or heard of this before and I was trying to find out what would cause this or what it means. Let me know if you discover anything please. I didn’t scramble it; for now I am just keeping it covered in the refrigerator.

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    • I found one this morning, several pictures taken and put back in the refrig.
      3/8/13

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  2. How strange – so I’m not alone then! Unfortunately I’ve not been able to figure out anything else about white egg yolks other than that they’re a rare occurrence to say the least!

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    • We found a fresh free range egg off our own chickens and have never come across a white yolk before…..thought it may be an albino chicken if fertilised???? any thoughts

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      • I had the same experience this morning. I ate a bit of it, and did it ever lack in flavor. A first for me.
        Albino chicken. That is my guess.

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    • I am working in Luanda, Angola.
      All the eggs here have white centers.
      So I don’t think it is rare but I wonder what is the root cause.
      I am guessing improper diet.

      Enjoy

      Reply

  3. I cut into a hard boiled egg to make egg salad when I saw that the egg yolk was as white as the egg whites. It look like a snow ball within a ball of snow! Has anyone figured this out yet?

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  4. I’ll be damn! But I just found this blog because I was looking for an answer for my also finding a white yolk in my eggs!!! Sounds funny but I was pretty scared… At least I did not eat them. I took pix though….

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  5. Well at least I know I’m not the only person to come across white egg yolks, but I’m surprised there’s no information about it anywhere. You’d think we weren’t the only ones!

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  6. Hey! Me too. My wife was just telling me how SHE found a white egg yolk today too. I started looking online to see what I could find … and this is it! She had boiled the egg and when she cut it open it had a white yolk. Strange … nothing on the web until recently…. Where are you guys located? We are in Colorado.

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    • I have a sister who lives in Tanzania and all of her eggs are like tht. It has to do with the chickens diet, I should as her exactly what they were fed but I believe it’s the type of grass they have there or something. All of the chickens would be free range.

      Although yellow yolk is perfectly fine for you clear or white yolks actually have a better benefit for your body because it’s all organic. 100% no bull. Idk about the odd one in a million phantom yolk (most likely a pigmant issue or the chicken that lays it) but all n’ all enjoy your white scrambled eggs

      Reply

  7. I happen to do the same thing. Cut into an egg and the yolk was completly white. I haven’t been able to find anything either. I live in Michigan

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  8. I have a chicken that only lays white yolk eggs, we are thinking of bopping her on the head but maybe she is worth a mint???

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    • Hi There,
      I too have a chicken that lays eggs with white yokes. I have 12 hens in all so I will have to segragate them to find the white yoker. Incidentally, I don’t have a cockeral and now one of the hens has taken it upon herself to tread the other chickens. Could it be a Lesbian Chicken? Please let me have your comments to johnohanlon (then you do the ‘at’ sign) uwclub.net

      Reply

  9. You never know, could be worth a fortune! I’ve always fancied having chickens as they’re characters and the thought of fresh eggs sounds nice!

    Reply

  10. Got one of these tonight, was looking for an explanation. Fortunately I was going to scramble the eggs, not hardboil because that white yolk was seriously disgusting. Had I bitten into that? Ho man. It had a tough, thick outer membrane, half filled with clear fluid like egg white, but thicker. It actually took a little force to tear through the membrane to see the inner contents. That would have been extremely chewy. It really put me off my appetite. That is not a normal stage of development. Some really nasty defect. Joy. We all got retard eggs.

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  11. Hey, my husband decided to make a cake tonight and had to use eggs. He called me into the kitchen and showed me a white egg yolk beside the two other yellow egg yolks that were in the bowl. It looks perfectly normal, and does not appear to be ruined. There is no bad smell either! We live in Kentucky and have never seen such a thing. My husband called his dad, and he said that it is called a “tainted egg”, which does not have any flavor. He told my husband to throw it away. I’m not sure if it will make you sick if you eat one.

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  12. Just ran into this problem today, for breakfast. I had cracked two eggs into the bowl, and what comes out next but a perfectly white egg yolk? I was put off, to say the least and ended up throwing out the batch, to make another scramble out of fresh eggs. It didn’t smell, or have any weird consistencies, but damn did it freak me out.

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  13. I’ve been trying to find out about the clear/white egg yolk today. We have a barnyard in Texas. What I picked up yesterday was a white round very small egg about 5/8″ in diameter. I just thought it was a guinea egg, as we have them. This morning, for grins, I cracked it open to see how small it was, and I couldn’t believe my eyes! The yolk was very promienent, but everything was the color of the egg white. No color in the yolk at all. I guess it’s an oddity now. I made an omelet this morning with 2 chicken eggs, 1 duck egg, and the 1 teeny guinea egg. Now I’m wondering what the heck I ate! We have a pond and turtles, so now I don’t know. I haven’t found where a species produces colorless yolks in their eggs. I’m anxious to find another one, because the evidence is now gone! The egg was round, not oval, and it was a whitish egg, not brown. Any ideas, anyone?

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    • This sounds just like the egg my kids just brought into me and I let them crack it open. It was over near the edge of our pond where our ducks are. We have frogs and salamanders in our pond….probably snakes in the woods there. Moved here in May last year and never saw any turtles….But I don’t have guineas. It was smaller than a ping pong ball, so not a duck egg.

      Reply

  14. I’m another “me too” here. I just opened up a boiled egg, and the yolk is only distinguishable from the white by texture. It’s completely colorless. I want to eat it, ’cause I’m hungry, but I think I’ll refrain. Just too weird. My best guess, and this is purely conjecture, is that these would have been albino chickens. Rare and lacking pigment, but otherwise normal? Really, I have no idea.

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  15. Well! We just hard boiled a bunch of eggs to find one had a pure white yolk as well! I can’t find any other website or explanation of why or how on the internet. We did photograph it and I will upload it soon. Strange. It’s nice to see others have found the same thing, but I still want to know the how and why. Perhaps they would have been albino?

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  16. We’ve just spotted a white yolk in a hard boiled egg. Looks and smells fine, but too weird to eat! This is the only mention I’ve found on the web. I might try posting the question on http://www.newscientist.com/ – maybe some smart readers might provide an answer!

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  17. I’m another “me too” here. In my Half Fried egg i found the egg yolk completely white with not even a hint of yellow and too weird to eat… can anybody provide me an answer

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  18. i found this blog when looking up the same question. My boyfriend told me about a white egg yolk he came accross and i went online to look for answers. He called it an ‘albino egg’ but i wonder why it is colored like that. the only reason i could think would be some sort of gene that is very rare in chickens. If anyone finds out please let me know.

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  19. 7/03/2008 i bought a salad from morrisons scarborough .there was 2 hard boiled eggs in it and 1 had no yolk at all it was all white the same texture all the way through.
    i ate it and it just tasted of egg white

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  20. I just cracked an egg in a frying pan that not only had one white yolk but it also had one yellow yolk. A twin egg how freakish. The white yolk was rounder and tougher than the yellow. Grossed me out and now I probably will never eat another egg again.I took pictures of this and saved the egg. Now I’m going to play the lottery.

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  21. I got a white egg yolk while cracking some eggs to fry. Freaked me out really. Called my expert (mom) and she said she’s never seen or heard of it. Told me not to eat it, not that I wanted too anyway. I took a picture of it with my phone camera.

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  22. i just had one for lunch!!! really weird as well cos i ate it and now reading the above i’m no longer sure that was such a good idea…i mean, if someone’s mom doesn’t even know what it is??? I have to admit i didn’t enjoy eating it. It tasted of nothing. If i get ill i will report back…odd…

    Reply

  23. Thanks Mark!

    So it looks like a case of the pigment that usually gets passed from hen to egg that makes the yolk yellow can, in rare and apparently random circumstances, not get passed on, thereby producing a white egg yolk.

    In the unlikely event that I get another white egg yolk at least I know it’s safe to eat! And anybody who comes across one should feel very lucky as it’s clearly such a rare occurrence. Fascinating!

    Reply

  24. white egg yolks isn’t a rare occurence, in my case atleast. If I buy egg from one particular shop, yolks are predominantly white.. so its not rare for me, but still Ive not been able to find out if they’re still healthy to eat?????

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  25. Interesting! They are safe to eat since the absence of the pigment that makes them yellow has no effect on the eggs being edible or not.

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  26. My wife & I were in Tanzania in August. Every place we went the eggs had white yolks. I finally remembered to look up why & found this site.

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  27. Hi again

    As part of the research for the answer, I also contacted the American Egg Board. They’ve just come back to me with a response from Hilary Thesmar, Ph.D., director of the Egg Safety Center:

    “The color of the yolk is dependent on the diet of the hen. Hens fed wheat based diets will produce eggs with very pale yolks. Corn based diets allow hens to produce eggs with yellow yolks. Around the world, consumers have different preferences for yolk color. In the US, yellow is preferred. Yolks can be white to a very dark orange color”

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    • Sorry to say your theory is floored.We have four chickens, all eating the same diet.Three of them produce bright yellow yolks but one gives us completely white yolks.One very special chicken.

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  28. It is very common thing to see in Sri Lanka. Actually, those white eggs (they have white shells also) are 2x the price, and they say much healthier than the normal one.
    And taste is the same.
    I’ll try and post some photos of white egg yolk these days.
    From the last comment, I guess they feed them only with rice (without curry :) ).

    Reply

  29. I think some of us may be discussing different types of experiences. I know my own personal experience (and a couple other people sound similar) would not be attributable to diet etc. My personal experience was in no way normal development. It was clearly a developmental defect- genetic accident. Beyond the fact the yolk was perfectly clear like egg white, the yolk was enveloped in a thick, tough, white membrane- like a layer of opaque white skin. As in if you held the membrane up to light, you wouldn’t see through it. Not to be disgusting, but almost as if the (purely clear like egg white) were contained in a round enclosure comprised of pure white afterbirth. That sort of texture, and quite tough as well. It took a fair bit of force to tear it open to see the inner contents. No one would be paying to eat this. I couldn’t pay someone to ingest it. Doesn’t surprise me there is not alot of information out on this defect as in 38 years I have only witnessed this once. And I eat a LOT of eggs.

    It would be great if someone could get some pictures- uncooked preferably to the doctor on that website. From the sound of it, she isn’t even aware there is such a phenomenon. I imagine she would be extremely interested to see it.

    As to health or whatnot… really. Don’t worry about it. Gross as it may be, at the end of the day it’s only protein, genetically defective or not. Not going to hurt you. Only sickness you could expect is the gross out factor.

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  30. White egg yolks happen in Australia too! Making breakfast this morning and out popped a white as white egg yolk! Its now in the fridge. Sounds like it’s destined for the rubbish as I thought it might have been worth a fortune until I found this site!

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  31. Haha another ‘me too’! just had mine fried, in wales…. i reckon it was going to turn into an albino chicken or something

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  32. hey, i just made some hard boiled eggs and one yolk was white! after reading the emails from this site, I am going to eat it and hope i don’t turn into an albino chicken. lol I live in Ontario.

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  33. Have been looking for an answer to a white yolk found today! Didn’t look ‘healthy’ enough to give the kids for tea, but my husband apparently found one in the same box which he ate for breakfast today – he’s been farting like a trooper ever since!!!! (but is still alive…..)

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  34. Well I came across a white yolk too…that’s why posting this. Boiled an egg and when I opened to give to yellow to my son, to my surprise I could not find any yellow. The texture is of yellow’s but the color is just white.

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  35. Pingback: » Living la vida local: Eggceptional Green Me: Healthy and Green by the Day

  36. I work at a zoo in the U.S. and came across one of these white yolked eggs in one of my capuchin diets, it had the same texture and smell of the other egg yolks, just not the color. I took a picture of it with my camera phone, it alone as well as with another yellow yolk for comparison. After discussing it with my coworkers we fed it to the monkeys anyway, they ate it as if there was no difference. I showed the pictures to our vet later in the day and she had never heard of it before. I’ve delt with thousands of boiled eggs and this is my first white yolk, I guess I should feel lucky since this seems to be so rare.

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  37. Hi, found a white yolk this morning and before eating thought i’d find out why..! and so here i am, and i have a photo, (if someone can tell me how to add it ?) for all those others lucky enough to find one.
    p.s. i’m in uk.

    White Egg Yolk

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    • Dear Andy B – I went to ‘Another Cracked Egg Cafe” yesterday and ordered two eggs Benedict. Both had clear yolks. I ate them anyway and am not sick yet. The picture you posted has an opaque white yolk. If you crack a normal egg into a frying pan you will notice that there is an inner white and an outer white. The outer white becomes opaque early on but when the inner white becomes opaque the fried egg is ready to eat. Your photo shows only one white so it’s doubly strange. I assume this photo came from one egg. PS I’m in Florida, USA. John Conners – Thanks for the website.

      Reply

  38. Just looking for “white egg yolk” on the web and came across this site. I cracked open an egg with a white yolk also. It was weird. Does anyone know what this is? I’m 57 and never seen a white yolk before. My husband wouldn’t eat it!!

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  39. i ate the hard boiled white egg yolk on june 26th. I know the date because i posted a comment aobut it. Well I ate it and nothing happened still alive!

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  40. Wow, I was shocked – cracking farm eggs for scrambled eggs, here came one with a white yolk, not sure what that mean’t, so we did not eat it. This was the first time ever I saw this or ever heard of it.

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  41. It can be down to diet. Came on here to see if it had more info for someone who asked. I have chickens and know free range hens produce yellow yolks when they have plenty of grass. Battery eggs tend to be paler but get some yellow from the diet they are provided with i think its carotene, sometimes they add marigold petals to food to increase the colour of the egg yolk. Nothing wrong with the egg.

    Reply

    • The claim in this article, that the color of the yolk does not affect the nutritional value of the egg, contradicts the article’s explanation of the color of yolks. Caratenoids ARE nutrients. The most common caratenoids in the North American diet are beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, gamma-carotene, lycopene, lutein, beta-crpytoxanthin, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin.

      Don’t trust industry reps for nutrition information.

      Reply

  42. Thanks for the info Phil! I always make sure to eat free range eggs and thus far I’ve only come across one pale yolk. If I’d known what I know now I’d have eaten the thing instead of throwing it out!

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  43. I’m in North Queensland, Australia and cracked open a white yolk egg today. Couldn’t bring myself to eat it.

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    • On a recent visit to Tanzania, I stayed at the Golden Tulip Hotel in Dar. I ordered boiled eggs for breakfast, and in both eggs, the yolk was white! I could not bring myself to eat it and returned the plate.

      Reply

      • We just cracked open a single egg to find a double yoke in it with one a normal yellow colour and the other completely white. How weird is that.

        Reply

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