Designer Eggs: Understanding the concept and future scope

Designer Eggs: Understanding the concept and future scope

Dr. Rushikesh A. Kantale, Dr. Rajesh V. Wagh* and Dr. O. P. Malav

Department of Livestock Products Technology,
College of Veterinary Science, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University,
Ludhiana,Punjab – India


Designer eggs are those whose composition has been altered from that of a normal egg. The composition of a chicken egg could be altered to make it more nutritious. Designer eggs are free of any harmful components, and created by altering the nutrition of chickens or controlling the immune systems of laying chickens. The designer eggs are thus a great food and vitamin supplemented product that provides benefits such as lower cholesterol, higher unsaturated fatty acids, an optimum omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, cardiovascular benefits, and so on. Consumers having lot of benefit from designer eggs, because designer eggs are improving the nutritional quality of eggs by increasing antioxidants and n-3 fatty acids like docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

The benefits of simultaneously enriching eggs with vit-E, carotenoids, selenium, and DHA include enhanced polyunsaturated fatty acid (PUFA) stability during storage and cooking, high availability of nutrients like vitamin E and carotenoids, lack of off-taste also enhanced anti-oxidant as well as n-3 status of those who consume these eggs. “Designer eggs,” according to the relevant scientific research and review, can create a new generation or upcoming era of functional food industry for human beings.

Introduction Designer eggs

Animal-derived designer foods are made either by feeding specific diets or by using advanced technologies such as genetic engineering and cross-breeding (Alagawany et al., 2018). In the food sector, designer eggs are a popular category of Nutri-functional food. Advanced progressing of the poultry sector, there is a growing interest in poultry biotechnology for modifying egg composition for human health through genetic and nutritional alterations. As per Narhari (2005), the egg is an increasingly popular option for incorporating a variety of health-promoting ingredients. For this purpose, nutritional modification of the laying hens’ feed, it could be effectively producing an alteration of numerous nutrients in an egg (Hu et al., 2001). This can be achieved by adjusting sterol (Cholesterol) levels, lipid profiles, minerals and amino acids (AA) or by introducing beneficial pharmacological compounds (Alagawany et al., 2018). Designer eggs are vegetarian, immune-boosting, speciality or organic breakfast and lunch with rich in vitamins, minerals, balanced omega-6:3 FA ratio, low cholesterol, high IgG and vital pigment like Flavonoids. Now a day for humans, eggs remain a healthy, highly nutritious with a high nutritional content and quality. Eggs are one of the most popular foods in worldwide because of its nutritious profile, variety, and low cost as a foodstuff. In human diet phospholipids and fatty acids (saturated) are all major contributed through only by animal products (Eaton, 1992).

PUFAs (polyunsaturated fatty acids) were found possess unique governing functions, throughout a creation of various physiologically potent chemicals comprising like eicosanoids. The n-6/omega-6 (FA) is two of the most significant PUFA in modern diet. These PUFAs must be obtained through the diet (Parra Cabrera et al., 2011).

In the human body, PUFA (polyunsaturated fatty acids) (n-3 and n-6) being incompatible and have an impact on eicosanoid biosynthesis and inter-cellular communications (Surai, 2001). Arachidonic acid (20:4n-6) and (EPA; 20:5n-3) eicosapentaenoic acid and (DHA; 22:6n-3) docosahexaenoic acid can be formed by elongating and desaturating LA and ALA (Gregory et al., 2011). Due to the fact that these 2 classes of PUFAs are physiologically as well as functionally diverse, with often opposing physiological effects (Simopoulos, 1991). Many physiological responses in the human body are hypothesised to be influenced by the absolute level and equilibrium of n-6 and n-3 PUFAs in the diet.

Why need of designer eggs?

  • The most commonly consumed eggs are chicken eggs, including minerals as well as vitamins like (vit-A), (vit-B2) riboflavin, (vit-B9), vit-B6, vit-B12, choline, Fe, Ca, potassium and phosphorus.
  • Researcher, scientists and healthcare professionals faced big complexity and issue, because of egg high cholesterol (approximately 200-300mg/100g) contents (Alagawany et al., 2018).
  • Nutritionally modified yolk/value added eggs are another technique to minimize the cholesterol effects of eggs. The total fat content of egg yolks cannot be changed; however, the fat chemical configuration might be changed by changed or revised type of nutrient feed formulation to chickens.
  • Optimized formulated nutritional feeding to layer can easily alter saturated (FA) configuration of (Bird) yolk fat (Nutautaite et al., 2021).
  • Consumers are always looking for novel food items, and they’re interested in industry for a new type of food which includes health and wellness benefits. The composition of “designer eggs” has been altered from that of the conventional egg because of standard, organic, nutritional rich quality, low fat content, highly healthy & delicious taste etc.

Health benefits

Omega-3 PUFA more than 600 mg and tocopherol more than 6 mg can be found in designer eggs. Eggs have additional health benefits due to their stable ratio omega-6/omega-3 (1:1) and SAFA ratios (1:1). As a result, designer eggs may provide, egg consumers around the world with a new food product alternative and functional choice (Raghuveer and Tandon, 2009; Alagawany et al., 2018). Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) rich eggs like columbus eggs, omega 3 eggs, Bio-omega 3 eggs, England’s best, Greek eggs, Baby eggs, Achyrona mega eggs, and omega-3 herbal eggs are available in global markets under various names depending on geographical area (Surai and Sparks, 2001). Egg industry has done a good job of looking for innovative ways to alter consumer perceptions of issues with egg and its foodstuffs, especially the high cholesterol values.

Designer egg proteins easily digestable and because of its high biological contents and present all essential amino acids equivalent to the optimal amino acid balance required by consumers, as well as numerous vit-minerals. Availablity of nutrients existing in egg is not optimized associated through a suggested consumption in humans for improved health prominence (Table No.1). In comparison to the ordinary egg, various nutritional measures increased sterol, n-3 (F.A) as well as lutein+zeaxanthin by 368, 150 and 13.97 percent, simultaneously. Designer eggs saturated fat as well as n-6 fatty acids are dropped as 17.15 and 10.25 percent (Otten et al., 2006).

Eggs provided about 20-30% of the RDI for vit-E, A, and B-12, as well as 10-20% of the RDI for total fatty acids, saturated and polyunsaturated fatty acids, and folate. A single egg could provide 10% protein, 6% vit-A, 6% vit-D, 3% vit-E, 15% vit-B2, 4% vit-B6, 8% vit-B12, 6% folic acid, 2% thiamine, 4% zinc, and 4% iron of the RDI for human beings. A substantial number of these elements in eggs, such as vit-E, omega 3 fatty acids, selenium, and carotenoids, can be improved by changing dietary components (Surai and Sparks, 2006).

Table 1: Nutrient composition (per 100 g) and dietary reference intake (DRI) of key nutrients between standard and designer eggs.

Components D.R.I (31 to 50 yr of age) Standard egg Designer egg
  ♀ Female ♂ Male  
Protein Value, gm 46 56 12.3
(CHO) Carbohydrate, gm 130 130 1.01
Total fat, % of kcal 20-35 20-35 9.95 g
Saturated fat, % kcal <10 <10 3.38 g 2.8 g
n-6 (F.A) fatty acid, gm 12 17 1.56 1.4 g
n-3 fatty acid, gm 1.1 1.6 0.28 0.7 g
Cholesterol, mgb <300 <300 372 320 mg
Trans-fatty acid, gm Low level Low level 0.054
EPA and DHA, mgb 250 250 49 400 mg
Vit-A, μg 700 900 171
Vit-D, μg 5 5 2.62
Vit-E, μg 15 15 0.48 15 mg
Vit-K, μg 90 120
Vit-C, mg 75 90
Thiamin, mg 1.1 1.2 0.067
Riboflavin, mg 1.1 1.3 0.523
Niacin, mg 14 16 0.103
Pantothenic acid, mg 5 5 1.57
Vit B6, mg 1.3 1.3 0.188
Vit B12, μg 2.4 2.4 1
Folic acid, μg 400 400 87
(Ca) Calcium, mg 1200 1200 62
(Mg) Magnesium, mcg 320 420 9
(P) Phosphorus, mg 700 700 193
(Na) Sodium, g 1.5 1.5 0.128
(K) Potassium, g 4.7 4.7 0.135
Copper, μg 900 900 53
Chromium, μg 20 35 1.0
          (I) Iodine, μg 150 150
(Fe) Iron, mg 8 8 1.74
(Mn)Manganese, mg 1.8 2.3 0.032
Molybdenum, μg 45 45
(Se) Selenium, μg 55 55 37.2
(Zn)Zinc, mg 8 8 1.32
Lutein + zeathanthine, mg 0.47 2.2 mg

Adapted from Otten et al., (2006), Mc-Guire, US Department of Health and Human Services (2015), Jena and Sahoo (2014)

Table 2: Nutritional content of normal egg and designer egg

Sr. No. Nutrient content Quantity per 100 g of egg contents eggs
Ordinary Egg Designer Egg
1. saturated fatty acids (Total) 3.3 gm 2.8 gm
2. unsaturated fatty acids (Total) 6.4 gm 6.9 gm
3. (MUFA) Mono-unsaturated fatty acids 4.4 gm 4.4 gm
4. (PUFA) Poly-unsaturated fatty acids 2.0 gm 2.5g
5. (ω-6 F.A) Linoleic acid 1.9 gm 1.4g
6. (ω-3 F.A) Linoleic acid 0.03g 0.7g
7. (DHA+EPA) ω-3 fatty acids 0.08g 0.4g
8. N6/N3 ratio 17.3g 1.27
9. Unsaturated/Saturated fatty acids 1.94g 2.46
10. Cholesterol 400mg 320mg
11. Carotenoids 1.5mg 2.2mg
12. Vitamin E 2mg 15mg
13. Se (Selenium) Trace 1.8µg
14. (Cr) Chromium Trace 1µg

(Narhari, 2005)

Omega-3-enriched designer eggs

Commercial table eggs are abundant in n-6 PUFA (primarily 18:2n-6), but little in n-3 fatty acids. Generally 2 kinds of endeavors to generate eggs higher in n-3 PUFA. The easiest method is to make an egg rich in linolenic acid (Van Elswyk, 1997), which is a precursor to DHA and is also thought to safeguard against deadly ischemic heart disease (Van Elswyk, 1997). (Hu et al., 1999).

DHA is associated with the majority of human health endorsing qualities of n-3 fatty acids, a health benefit of ALA-enriched eggs may be limited (because the conversion of linolenic acid to DHA into the human body may not always be effective). When the elderly and children’s diets are high in n-6 PUFAs. The second group or route to increasing n-3 levels in eggs is to include pre-formed DHA in the hen’s diet, which is commonly oil in the fish like (menhaden, tuna) (Leskanich and Noble, 1997).

Health benefits of omega-3-enriched designer eggs

The main benefits of omega-3 eggs for the consumers are the fatty acids that enhance in phospholipids, which results in improved health (Ferrier et al., 1995). Other beneficial effects have been reported, including lower plasma triglyceride concentrations (Jiang and Sim, 1993), systolic and diastolic blood pressures (Farrell, 1994), and platelet aggregation (Farrell, 1994). Consumption of modified eggs reduced overall plasma cholesterol levels in several trials (Lewis et al., 2000).

As a result, eating 1-2 omega-3 eggs per day might ensure health benefits by boosting saturated (F.A) level in lipids as well as, other kind of situations, lowering triglycerides, sterols levels in the body. Most of researcher’s studies found no substantial increased in cholesterols or triglyceride values in human body as outcomes even by eating even huge quantities of omega-3 eggs. 2 of the 25 participants in a recent research by Lewis et al., (2000) responded to increase in dietary cholesterol through egg consumption by having a substantial proliferation in total serum value as well as LDL-cholesterol value (Meester et al., 1998).

These findings could explain the discrepancy in the results of studies on the outcome of egg feeding on plasma triglycerides levels reported over previous 20 years. However, the researchers report that eggs enriched with n-3 PUFAs provide good nutritional value. Scientists also suggest us to increase our intake of n-3 fatty acids by increasing omega-3 fatty acid consumption (Surai and Sparks, 2001).

Commercial production, global market and current research on omega-3 enriched designer egg

  • In different nations, different sorts of eggs can be found, United Kingdom, the only designer egg sold in stores is the Belovo ‘Columbus’ egg, which is made in Belgium.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin-E are abundant in designer eggs (De-meester et al., 1998).
  • In Europe, Columbus egg is currently produced in excess of 50 million each year. The nutritional lipid composition of these eggs is balanced (C18, omega-6: omega-3=1:1), as well as a good ratio of structural lipids exists (PUFAs, omega-6:3 ratio=1:3).
  • Largest manufacturer of chicken goods in Mexico and North-USA, Pilgrim’s Pride Company, produced the so-called Eggs Plus, which includes more vitamin E and omega-3 fatty acids (Marshall et al., 1994)
  • Gold Circle Farms (containing 150mg D.H.A, 6mg vit-E, CO, U.S.A.) also Omega Tech. (America) both produces qualitative similar eggs.


Designer eggs could be a good way for humans to get more of the rich nutrients as they need. As a result, attempts have been made to develop dietary composition with highest nutrient composition values that can modify body immunological activities, treat diseases and health complications such as diabetes, cancer, blood, hypertension, lower cholesterol levels. The designer eggs used to provide extra critical nutrients with beneficial quality including vitamins, minerals, essential A.A than standard egg. Designer eggs are major source of therapeutics that provides extra supplements to the body with antibodies that are necessary for optimal health. As nutritional point of view, auspicious health benefits of designer eggs, human consumers widely accepted (Designer egg) transgenic nature modifications, egg genetical manipulation through nutritional approaches.


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POULTRY PUNCH incorporated in 1984 and we are in poultry media since last 36 years and publish Poultry punch – English Monthly Magazine. Mr Balwant Singh Rana prior to laying the foundation of Poultry Punch magazine was still involved with renowned Indian poultry companies and It was there that he had the vision of doing something exceptional for the Indian poultry industry and then he stepped into the poultry media.

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