The albumen of my hard boiled eggs turned purple. What would cause this and is it ok to consume?

  • 7
    Can I say "pics or it didn't happen"? :)
    – Marti
    Feb 16, 2016 at 23:37
  • 1
    Can't find any mention of purple egg whites except in reference to pickling them in beet juice. You are certain you didn't have any beet juice in the water? Feb 17, 2016 at 6:42
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    The only similar reference I've found is green eggs and ham. Not helpful, but fun. Don't eat purple eggs. But if you survive after – let us know :) Oct 11, 2016 at 23:34
  • Food colouring? 🙃
    – verbose
    Jan 12, 2017 at 20:08
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    My daughter cracked a raw egg and the inside of the shell was purple. That actual egg was purple as well. It was very runny. The black blob in the pan in the background is the egg. It’s between the two normal eggs. purple egg Jan 10, 2018 at 12:50

3 Answers 3


Everything you need to know: Google for "Purple Deviled eggs".

But if you didn't pickle it, then beware.

Pink or iridescent egg white (albumen) indicates spoilage due to Pseudomonas bacteria. Some of these microorganisms—which produce a greenish, fluorescent, water-soluble pigment—are harmful to humans.
Source: United States Department of Agriculture

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  • It might be an idea to simply delete the first paragraph here, since it's implied that Judy doesn't know how the colour changed (i.e. it's not an intentional colour change).
    – user51717
    Jan 13, 2017 at 8:56
  • There is a picture at: backyardchickens.com/threads/… Jan 24, 2020 at 23:22

Is it purple throughout or is there a layer near the yolk that's really more of a gray?

If the latter, it's simply because the eggs were cooked too long or at too high a temperature. It's a reaction between sulfur and iron. Perfectly safe, but try putting the eggs in room temperature water then bringing the water to a boil. Once at the boil, turn off the heat and leave the eggs for 11-13 minutes. You can then remove the eggs and run room temperature water over them to stop the cooking.


My Great Aunt makes a casserole every year, with purple hard boiled eggs. The reason for this is she is using a solid aluminum, from the 40's or 50's, pot to boil the eggs in. I don't know why she doesn't use a different pot, go figure, she knows what it does. No one these days has aluminum cookware so it isn't an issue. Apparently, back in the day, it was a common enough occurrence. That generation generally isn't internet savvy, if you were at a church function and asked this question, chances are, all the greatest generation ladies would immediately answer. In recap, there is nothing wrong with the eggs. They are fine to eat or use in cooking. There is something that goes on between the egg and the aluminum that makes it change colour for some reason. I wish one of the science guys would pick this up and do a show on it and explain. Hope this helps!

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