Going for gold! TV show cracks myth that happy hens lay eggs with ‘sunnier’ yolks by revealing farmers feed their chickens PAPRIKA to enhance colour

  • Egg yolks are being turned yellow by adding paprika to chicken feed
  • ‘Sunny’ colour allows supermarkets to charge almost twice the price for eggs
  • It is hoped the revelation will crack the myth that the colour equals good quality 

Egg yolks are being turned a deep ‘golden’ yellow by adding paprika to chicken feed, a TV investigation has found.

The ‘sunny’ yolks allow supermarkets to deceive shoppers and charge nearly twice the price for a box of eggs, Channel 4’s Supershoppers programme said.

Experts hope the revelation will crack a myth that the sought-after colour indicates a higher nutritional value.

Egg yolks are being turned  a deep ‘golden’ yellow by adding paprika to chicken feed, a TV investigation has found

Food experts revealed the deep colour actually comes from maize and paprika feed pecked up by the birds, and is not necessarily linked to an egg’s quality.

The Happy Egg Company, which sells eggs with ‘rich golden yolks’ said on its website that the birds are fed on a diet including ‘marigold and paprika’.

Six sunny side yolks from their free range hens cost £1.50, while a box of own-brand free range eggs costs around 90p.

Morrisons charges £1.85 for six free range golden yolk eggs.

Cormac O’Shea, associate professor of animal nutrition at the University of Nottingham, told The Telegraph carrots and red peppers could also be added to hen food to achieve the yellow colour. 

The deep colour from Paprika allows supermarkets to charge almost twice as much for eggs

Happy Egg Company said online its chickens are fed with a mixture of ‘marigold and paprika’

‘So the golden yolk is all down to colour in their food,’ he said.

‘Shoppers are prepared to pay more for eggs with rosy coloured yolks as they associate it with a healthy sign of the hen that laid the egg.

‘We believe a golden yolks equals a happy hen, equals a better egg. We’ve been buying in on that one for generations.’

The marketing director at Noble foods, which owns the Happy Egg Company, said market research had shown people viewed the egg yolks colour as a signal of quality.

Supershoppers will be aired on Monday.

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