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Not all eggs are created equal. Here’s what the different labels mean.

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Not all eggs are created equal. Here’s what the different labels mean.

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1 Cage-free.

These are laid by hens that are not housed in enclosures.

They roam in a building, room or open area that includes nesting space and perches.

Unlike hens that produce free-range eggs, they do not usually have access to the outdoors.

2 Free-range.

These eggs are laid by hens allowed to roam freely outdoors instead of being restricted to enclosures. On top of eating grains, they may forage for wild plants and insects.

3 Certified organic.

These eggs are usually laid by cage-free as well as free-range hens raised on 100 per cent certified organic feed – no synthetic pesticides, fungicides or fertilisers. Organic eggs may also come from caged chickens, says Bibi Chia, principal dietitian at Raffles Diabetes & Endocrine Centre.

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4 Omega-3 enriched

Egg yolks already contain some naturally-occurring omega-3 fatty acids, like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). But these eggs provide even more as they are laid by hens fed a dietrich in omega-3 fatty acids, says the American Egg Board. Each packs 100mg to over 600mg of the beneficial fatty acid, which is also found in oily fish, and needed for the proper development and maintenance of brain cells.

5 Pasteurised

These eggs are heated to a temperature just below the coagulation point to destroy salmonella, a bacterium that’s a major cause of food-borne illness throughout the world. They can be used for lightly cooked or uncooked food preparations, such as mayonnaise, cream or mousse. Pasteurised eggs are sometimes recommended for young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems to lower their risk of contracting a salmonella infection.

6 Kampung

These come from kampung chickens. Their nutrient content is similar to that of normal eggs, says Bibi. Many people assume that the chickens are free- roaming but they are not, she says. The term kampung chicken refers to a breed of chicken found in Malaysia and Indonesia.

7 Brown
The colour of the shell has nothing to do with the nutritional value, quality or flavour of the egg. The colour depends on the breed of the hens. The American Egg Board says hens with white feathers and white ear lobes lay white eggs, while those with red feathers and red ear lobes lay brown eggs.