Dorky Biologist Pink Eggs

Introduction: Dorky Biologist Pink Eggs

About: Firefighter/EMT, avid tinkerer, always loved working with my hands. Interested in a lot of things, so my tinkering tends to make dorky appearances.

My dad used to make these for me all the time when I was a kid. Always kind of freaked me out how egg yolks could go from yellow to pink like that. And yet, I always went back for more!

Now having been through high school biology courses, I can say that I understand the mechanism of this phenomenon.

Hang on to your hats, we're getting dorky!

Understanding Proteins:
Proteins are complicated and intricate molecules that surround the "Central Dogma" of all life. They are composed of amino acids, which form chains called polypeptides, which then form the ultimate protein. Depicted above is a hemoglobin protein, which coats the surfaces of red blood cells and help carry oxygen (fun fact: the remaining oxygen is absorbed in the plasma). Like hemoglobin, proteins of various functions require certain environmental constants for optimal functionality. Temperature, pH, and salinity are all naturally occurring biological factors that must be accounted for in protein functionality. If the specific conditions are not met for the protein, the protein is subject to denaturation. This means that the protein could change its shape and thus lose its function. But what does all this have to do with eggs?

Eggs are rich in protein!

If you've ever fried an egg, you'll notice the "egg white" actually turns white. This is the effect that heat from the pan has on the albumin protein. You're witnessing denaturation at it's finest!

I'm hungry, enough talk. Let's see if we can use the same principles to denature the proteins in the yolk.

Step 1: Materials

For this Instructable, you'll need:
-Frying pan
-Butter or oil
-Pot cover--Just large enough to sit on, not on top of, the frying pan
-Condiments of choice

Step 2: Prep Work

Prepare your egg as you normally would. Melt your butter or spread your oil, then crack your egg into the pan.

Step 3: Apply the Cover

Remember how heat denatures proteins? You're going to use the pot cover to trap the heat from the pan so that it can denatures the proteins within the yolk.

Step 4: Denature the Deutoplasm

Next time you go to a dinner party, refer to the yolk of a deviled egg as the deutoplasm. See how many people lose their appetite!

This is just the waiting game. Depending on the flame setting on your stove, times will vary.

Step 5: Serve

Once you're happy with the color of your yolk, you're ready to serve it (or keep it for yourself)! Add some condiments and enjoy!

Step 6: Final Thoughts

Cooking meats always reminds me of the intricacy of molecular interactions in proteins. Of course we can't observe the denaturing process on a molecular level, but we sure can see it from where we are.

Ah... The things one can think over breakfast eggs!

Be the First to Share


    • Home and Garden Contest

      Home and Garden Contest
    • Science Fair Challenge

      Science Fair Challenge
    • Stone Concrete Cement Contest

      Stone Concrete Cement Contest



    6 years ago on Introduction

    I've recently discovered that I'm allergic to the protein in duck eggs. Chicken eggs have never bothered me. .. . I was told that the proteins in the egg whites are different between these two. Do duck eggs turn pink? or purple? or green? or. . . .Comments?


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    There is still albumin in duck egg whites. Can't say what the other proteins are… Only that there is significantly more albumin in the white of duck eggs than there is in the white of chicken eggs. Duck eggs should turn pink. The thing about these eggs turning pink is that the layer of denatured albumin protein over the surface of the yolk gives a sort of illusion of the yolk being pink. Distortion of transmitted wavelengths of light, that sort of thing. If you cut straight across the yolk it's still yellow on the inside. No Dr. Seuss magic!


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Didn't look pink to me. What am I missing, or are you just messing with us??


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    I promise, they're pink! Sometimes depends on the eggs and how long they were on the burner. I'll admit, these are not the best eggs I've done. I was using a foreign stove and eggs when I did this. I'll get better pictures when I can!