Friday, April 8, 2011

Puzzled by "Fake Eggs" !!

I heard about "Fake Eggs" in China many years ago, and you just can't imagine it is now can be found in Malaysia as well. Check out the below news from Bernama: -

GEORGE TOWN, April 8 (Bernama) - An egg supplier here finds it hard to believe that 'fake eggs' are sold here as they are obtained directly from chicken farms.

The supplier who just wants to be known as Tan said news of 'fake eggs' had adversely affected business as consumers doubt the authenticity of eggs sold in the market.

"Why do we need fake eggs. Supply is not a problem and the profit is not much," said Tan, a major supplier of eggs in Penang.

On Wednesday, the Consumers Association of Penang (CAP) claimed that a buyer who bought eggs from a market at Pulau Tikus foudn them to be fakes.

The 'fake eggs' are said to be larger, odourless, shiny and induced with chemicals feared to be harmful to consumers.

CAP's investigation found that the egg shell is made of synthetic paraffin wax, gypsum and calcium carbonate powder and the yolk and white consist of natrium alginate, alum, gelatin, benzoic acid, calcium chloride, water and food colouring.

Tan, 40, said that he received his supply of eggs from poultry farms in Seberang Prai, Kedah and Johor.

"I have been a supplier of eggs for about 30 years and have never heard of such things here. However I did hear about such eggs in China.

"The eggs in question are probably bad. As for the size, eggs come in many sizes, colours and and shapes."

Tan who supplies eggs to markets, hotels, restaurants and retail shops said that he could supply up to 180,000 eggs daily.


I had done little searches on one of chemical ingredient "Natrium Alginate" on the internet and found out the followings: -

(1) Natrium(/Sodium) Alginate (E401): Is a gum, extracted from the cell walls of brown algae. It has been used in food industry as "emulsifier " especially in the production of gel-like foods.

Intake of natrium alginate increases "Blood Pressure" as salt attracts water and create excess fluid with more sodium intake in the body. This lead to higher blood pressure since the heart need to work harder to circulate the excess fluid.

Over long term, the excess fluid may accumulates around the heart and lungs , and when heart unable to pump properly and eventually will lead to "congestive heart failure".

Besides that, it is being used in the production of medicines for gastric patients to relieve heartburn and indigestion. However, this type of medicines are not recommended for people who are salt-restricted diet, such as those with heart or kidney diseases. Opps!!! I think this is very obvious, yes!!!

In addition, calcium in the body excreted with sodium and over time, excessive of sodium intake at increased levels leading to depletion of calcium and causing bone problems.

source: LS on side effects & wikipedia on definition of natrium/sodium alginate.

Well, well, well, in this material world that we are living on, you will find out that this chemical ingredient is widely used in the production of many of the foods that we are eating as "food additives" and not only being used in making "fake eggs." So, being a wise consumer ,please remember to read the "label - ingredients" of the food before you buy.