Human inventions, as long as the world lasts will have no end! There is nothing human beings have not tried their hands on. From the good, the bad, to the very lethal ones. There is nothing except, the end of the world that can bring to an end human inventions. Among other food forgeries and bizarre inventions that has been on, we bring you the latest one you would never have imagined – fake eggs made out of resin, starch and pigments! Who would ever think that man’s creativity has gone to this extent? Well, it’s no fairy tale; you better shine your eyes because fake chicken eggs are now available in the markets, but if you are not in China, you need not panic yet, you just need to be wary to identify it if it eventually goes to other parts of the world. Read on to get the full gist.
How it all Started
This issue of fake eggs is not new in China, it has been happening since many years. You do not need a chicken to produce egg in China, you will only need a few man-made chemicals. According to the state news agency, Xinhua, back in 2005, fake eggs first appeared in the mid-90’s and production spread all over China. At the time, the production cost of a fake egg was half of its real equivalent. With the proper equipment and materials, one person could produce 1,500 fake eggs per day.
How the Fake Eggs are Made
Fake egg’s shell is made of calcium carbonate. Egg yolk and egg white are made of sodium alginate, alum, gelatin, eatable calcium chloride and then add water and food coloring. First prepare a mould, then mix the right amounts of resin, starch, coagulant and pigments to make egg white. Sodium alginate, extracted from brown algae, gives the egg white the wanted viscosity. Then add the fake egg yolk, a different mix of resin and pigments. Once the proper shape is achieved, an amalgamate of paraffin wax, gypsum powder and calcium carbonate makes for a credible shell. An egg-shape container into which the mixture is poured puts everything in proper shape, and off to the market they go to complete the cycle of deceit.
When these fake eggs are made with harmful chemicals and waste plastic materials from factories, they are sure to damage the health of people who eat them. Long-term consumption of these fake eggs can lead to many health problems like memory loss or dementia. So it is important for the consumers to identify and differentiate these fake eggs from real ones.
How to Identify Fake Eggs
1. Watch the shell: Fake egg’s shell is a little shinier than the real egg, but it is not very noticeable.
2. Feel the texture: When touched by hand, the fake egg feels a little rougher than the real egg.
3. Shake: If shaken, the fake egg will make some noises, because water overflows from the solid agent.
4. Sniff the egg: Real egg has a faint natural odour that smells a little like raw meat.
5. Tap the egg lightly: Real egg makes a more crisp sound than the fake egg.
6. Check how the yolk disperses: Shortly after opening the fake egg, egg yolk and egg white will melt together. This is because the egg yolk and egg white are made of the same raw materials.
7. When frying a fake egg, the yolk will spread without being touched.
Victims of Fake Eggs
A woman who gave her name as Ms. Tian was shopping at a vegetable market in Luoyang, in central China’s Henan province, when she noticed a van selling eggs for about 6¢ cheaper than they were going for in supermarkets, the Guangming Daily reported. Assuming that the eggs were from a countryside seller not aware of city prices, she took her chances and bought 2.5 kg of the bargain eggs — which turned out to be fakes.
Zhengzhou city’s local newspaper, Zhengzhou Daily (Zhengzhou is the capital city of Henan province, in Central China) reported on Aug 13, 2007 that resident Mr. Wang, who’s been selling food additive for many years, found that the chicken eggs he bought on night market didn’t look natural – his experience in food told him the “eggs” were made by additive! So he caught the boss of the restaurant and asked him to tell he the truth, otherwise he will sue to the authority. The boss then reluctantly told Ms. Wang that the eggs were totally man-made, he actually didn’t make it himself but bought from a producer.
The quest for survival
The poverty level in China could be the major cause of these strange productions from time to time. Considering the profit margin of producing and selling fake eggs, it is quite lucrative enough to keep a poor Chinese moving ahead in a hard world. The list will eventually remain endless, of China’s production of fake things until who knows when.