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Expert Opinions

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I know that eggshells are porous and that eventually air gets inside the shell, but is that necessarily a bad thing?

K.C.R. Los Angeles, CA
The amount of air inside an eggshell is certainly an indication of the egg's age, but not necessarily a clue that the egg has gone bad. As an egg ages, the carbon dioxide in the egg white seeps out through the shell's pores, and air from outside the shell moves in. You can judge how much air is inside the shell by placing the egg in a glass of water: A fresh egg will lie flat, a slightly older egg will stand up on its pointy end (the air cell in an egg is in the wider end), and an even older egg will float. This can have an effect on the texture of the egg and how well it will hold up for certain cooking methods (scrambling is almost always okay), but it is not an indication that the egg has gone bad. You will still have to crack open the egg and basically give it a sniff test. You will have no trouble identifying a rotten egg.
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