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Strange case of the eggs that bounced

EGGS which can be bounced like rubber balls after they were boiled are being investigated by the Shanghai Food and Drug Administration.

On Monday, a resident who bought several eggs in a convenience store on Feihong Road in Hongkou District got a shock after he tried to eat some.

The man, surnamed Chen, found the yolks of the boiled eggs had become hard and elastic. They could "even be bounced high like pingpong balls," he said.

Chen, 67, said the eggs looked exactly the same as normal ones.

The store is owned by Shanghai NGS Supermarket Group, one of the biggest in the city. Gan Pingzhong, an official with the group's quality supervision department, said the company was carrying out an investigation. He cited two possible explanations.

"According to our experience, the mutated egg could be caused by the chicken feed or by vaccine injected into the chickens." Customers who bought such eggs would get refunds.

Qu Weijing, dean of School of Life Science in East China Normal University, said that the problem could occur if hens ate feed containing too many cotton seeds, which contain gossypol, a toxic substance which can cause infertility in men and low potassium levels.

"Every year we receive several complaints about eggs, but few of the complaints have turned out to be major," Gan said.

Earlier this year, fake eggs were found in a food market in Pudong New Area. The eggs were made of some unidentified, but barely edible substance. They had a thick layer of film around them. Similarly, the yolks were hard, like rubber balls, and could be bounced off the floor.


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