The levels of many nutrients in an egg are influenced by the age and breed or strain of hen as well as the season of the year and the composition of the feed provided to the hen. While most variations in nutrients are relatively minor, the fatty acid composition of egg lipids can be significantly altered by changes in the hen's diet. The exact quantities of many vitamins and minerals in an egg are determined, in part, by the nutrients provided in the hen's diet.
Hen eggs contain 75.8% water, 12.6% protein, 9.9% lipid, and 1.7% vitamins, minerals, and a small amount of carbohydrates (Table 2). Eggs are classified in the protein food group, and egg protein is one of the highest quality proteins available. Virtually all lipids found in eggs are contained in the yolk, along with most of the vitamins and minerals. Of the small amount of carbohydrate (less than 1% by weight), half is found in the form of glyco-protein and the remainder as free glucose.
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