What’s the Snotty Bit in My Eggs & Is It Safe To Eat?

Words: Robyn Samuels

Have you ever prepared an omelette and upon cracking the eggs noticed a peculiar white, almost snotty substance in your eggs? Well, of course, you have – you can’t make an omelette without cracking a few eggs. But if you’ve ever wondered what the white strand suspended in the albumen of the egg is, the good news is that it’s not bacteria, it’s just the eye of the egg or ‘chalaza’ if you want to get technical.


Yes, eggs have something called an eye – also known as ‘chalazae’ – and no, it’s not the yolk, but rather that extra-slimy bit that contains a slightly white substance. Most might find them gross, but they actually serve a purpose…

What’s the chalaza?

Chalaza or ‘chálaza’ is Greek for ‘hailstone’ or hard lump’, as they feel like white hard lumps in your egg and apparently (kind of, not really) resemble pearls. If you’ve ever tried to remove them, they feel hard compared to the texture of the albumen and there’s even a bit of resistance when you extract them. The eye of the egg contains two white strands that are opaque and are usually visible against the translucent albumen (white part) of the egg.

In fact, the more visible they are, the healthier or fresher the egg.

The chalaza is attached to the yolk (yellow centre) of the egg and actually keeps the yolk intact. They keep the egg fresh and mainly consist of mucin fibres, a special type of protein. So, they’re actually a good thing and not a defect as you might have wrongly assumed. In fact, the more visible they are, the healthier or fresher the egg.

As for the red flecks you might notice in your egg, they are simply ruptured blood vessels that form. Their presence is also an indication that the egg is fresh. With time, the blood clots usually disintegrate; but if present, rest assured, they are completely safe to eat.

When it comes to the chalaza, they are also completely harmless and safe to eat, but some bakers might prefer to remove them, although it won’t actually affect the texture or taste of your food and bakes. While they are harmless, you should always remember to whisk your eggs well enough to break down the chalaza in the eggs. This will ensure that the eggs are incorporated well into your batter – if you don’t want an eggy-tasting cake that is…

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