How to make an egg, Guangzhou style
During a recent raid on a wholesale centre in Guangzhou city, the
capital of China's Guangdong province, a large quantity of fake eggs
Their wholesale price is 0.15 yuan (S$0.03) each - half the price of a real egg.
Consumers have a hard time telling a genuine egg from a fake one. This
is good news for unscrupulous entrepreneurs, who are even conducting
three-day courses in the production of artificial eggs for less than
A reporter with Hong Kong-based Chinese magazine East Week enrolled in
one such course.
To create egg white, the instructor - a woman in her 20s - used
assorted ingredients such as gelatin, an unknown powder, benzoic acid,
coagulating material and even alum, which is normally used for
For egg yolk, some lemon-yellow colouring powder is mixed to a liquid
and the concoction stirred. The liquid is then poured into a
round-shaped plastic mould and mixed with so-called 'magic water',
which contains calcium chloride.
This gives the 'yolk' a thin outer membrane, firming it up.
The egg is then shaped with a mould. The shell is not forgotten.
Paraffin wax and an unidentified white liquid are poured onto the fake
egg, which is then left to dry.
The artificial egg can be fried sunny-side up or steamed. Although
bubbles appear on the white of the egg, those who have tasted it say
the fake stuff tastes very much like the real thing.
But experts warn of the danger of eating fake eggs.
Not only do they not contain any nutrients, a Hong Kong Chinese
University professor warned that long-term consumption of alum could