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Why do egg yolks change color from orange or dark yellow to yellow or light yellow when cooked, esp. hard boiled?

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This is due to the proteins in the yolk denaturing and aggregating - basically the same reason the white (albumen) turns white from clear.

Think about the color that would result if you mixed a dark yellow color with some of the color white (i.e. I'm not talking about mixing yolk with albumen here, just colors) - it would lighten to make a lighter yellow

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