BOILED EGG PRODUCTION
We've often told our customers that we've got 15 people sitting around with a paintbrush all day... but that’s not how you dye 6 million eggs!
No, all kidding aside, E.K.E. produces dyed eggs using 2 automatic lines: on one side fresh eggs go into the machine, on the other side boiled, dyed eggs are rolled out. 1 machine is active year round, the 2nd machine runs mainly from January to Easter (peak production).
Just like you do at home, first we boil the eggs in a water bath. The lead time is about 12 min at a temperature of about 95°C. Never 100°C, then too many eggs will break. We also make sure that the eggs are still a bit creamy in the centre of the yolk, which we do for 2 reasons: the egg tastes better and is easier to digest.
After leaving the boiling bath, suction cups individually place the boiled eggs on metal stands. A chain takes the stands to the paint stations. Once there, the eggs are painted using an airbrush technique. At that point, the eggshell is still 70°C. By turning the egg in combination with spray guns that move up and down, you get a thin layer of paint on the entire eggshell. The airbrush technique has the added advantage that with you can use a minimal amount of paint to cover a lot of shell surface area. This reduces the risk of paint accumulation and the chance that dye can leach through the eggshell onto the cooked egg white.
All of the lacquers we use are food safe. Basic components are shellac and Carnauba wax. Shellac ensures an airtight seal on the pores of the egg to give it a longer shelf life after it's boiled. Carnauba wax gives the dyed egg a nice sheen. It is important that the eggshell is still 70° when it's painted, so the paint dries quickly (alcohol component of the paint evaporates) and you get a nice shine right off the bat. All of our egg dyes are only produced in Germany, not coincidentally the home of the dyed egg.
After dyeing, the dried eggs are removed from the stands with suction cups and transported on a conveyor belt to a ventilation cabinet. When they enter the cabinet, the eggs are still 60°C, and after leaving the cooling tower they are cooled down to room temperature.
Then we pack the cooled eggs in boxes of 6 or 10. This is done manually for a specific reason: by squeezing the eggs, you can remove eggs with hairline cracks (cracks in the egg shell from the cooking process). A cracked egg is always easy to break and can then be thrown away. Did you know: an intact egg can withstand a pressure of 55 kg before breaking!
We then deliver daily to almost all of the supermarket distribution centres in Belgium. The next day, the eggs are on the shelves of your favourite supermarket!