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Chicken eggs are a nutritionally complete protein and a key source of micronutrients vital during the first 1,000 days post-conception, making them a viable nutrition intervention across the globe. However, there may be fluctuations in nutrient content by season (dry season versus rainy season), which may influence outcomes in egg intervention studies. To better interpret the findings of the Saqmolo’ Project, a comprehensive nutrient analysis was conducted on eggs produced during the wet and dry seasons in the highlands of central Guatemala.

Saqmolo’ is a randomized controlled trial in which 1,200 infants ages 6 months to 9 months at baseline were provided either a local standard of nutrition care and one egg daily, or the local standard of nutrition care alone, to evaluate its impact on child development, growth and diet.

To conduct the egg nutrient analysis, 36 eggs from a local farm were randomly collected during both seasons (dry and wet), hard-boiled and transported to the United States for analysis. Various methods (e.g., Association of Official Analytical Chemists, the American Oil Chemists Society) were utilized to determine the total energy, moisture, ash, total protein, total fat, fatty acids, total carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and carotenoids in the eggs, by season.

Results demonstrated that only vitamins A and E, folate, choline and calcium fluctuated at clinically significant levels relative to the adequate intake/recommended dietary allowance for infants 7 months to 12 months old. Total energy, protein, trans fatty acids, moisture and vitamin D3 levels did not differ between seasons (p> .05). However, further multi-year sampling is needed to examine how seasonal variation affects egg nutrient composition. These data may be used to supplement existing national and regional food composition databases.

To learn more, read the full article published in Food Science & Nutrition.

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