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Are eggs becoming harder to peel?

October 19, 2009

We have an idea of how the perfect hard boiled egg is supposed to look — like a perfect white orb, deprived of shell, with no jagged edges.

But as more people start purchasing eggs straight from the farmer’s market, they’re noticing a trend. Hard boiled eggs are no longer easy to peel.

Why? Because farm fresh eggs aren’t old enough:

As an egg ages, it loses some carbon dioxide through tiny pores in the shell, making the egg white more basic. At the same time, it loses moisture, which increases the size of the “air cell” at the bottom of the shell, between the inner and outer membranes. The dynamics of this process are, in the words of a University of California, Davis agriculture publication, “not completely understood,” but the combination of these changes makes an old egg a lot easier to peel than a one that is fresh out of the bird.

Adding baking soda to the water before it comes to boil will help to make the egg easier to peel, but it will also intensify the sulfury egg taste.

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