Egg oil

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An intact yolk surrounded by egg white
Purified egg oil

Egg oil (CAS No. 8001-17-0, INCI: egg oil), also known as egg yolk oil or ovum oil, is derived from the yolk of chicken eggs consisting mainly of triglycerides with traces of lecithin, cholesterol, xanthophylls such as lutein and zeaxanthin and immunoglobulins.


In alchemy, the oil was traditionally extracted from the yolk, by a fairly simple process,[1] by which fifty eggs yield approximately five ounces of oil.[2] Modern methods of production include liquid-liquid extraction[3] using common solvents like hexane or ethanol. Unlike traditional egg oil produced by heat, solvent extracted product also contains immunoglobulins[4] which are destroyed at higher temperatures. There are only a few commercial producers globally.


The fatty acid composition of egg oil is rich in long chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LCPUFA) such as omega-3 fatty acids (including docosahexaenoic acid) and omega-6 fatty acids (including arachidonic acid) and closely resembles the fatty acid profile of human milk[5] as well as the lipid profile of human skin.

Complete fatty acid profile[edit]

Oleic acid (C18:1) 37.5%
Palmitic acid (C16:0) 35.7%
Linoleic acid (C18:2) 10.7%
Palmitoleic acid (C16:1) 7.8%
Stearic acid (C18:0) 3.3%
Myristic acid (C14:0) 1.1%
Docosahexaenoic acid (C22:6) 0.5%
Myristoleic acid (C14:1) 0.4%
Heptadecanoic acid (C17:0) 0.3%
Arachidonic acid (C20:4) 0.2%
Arachidic acid (C20:0) 0.2%
Linolenic acid (C18:3) 0.1%
Pentadecanoic acid (C15:0) 0.1%

Typical analysis[edit]

Appearance Yellow coloured, hazy liquid
Consistency Viscous liquid/thickened/Semi-solid at 25°C.
Odour Mild characteristic odour of egg
Refractive Index 1.46 - 1.48
Specific Gravity 0.90 – 0.95
Gardner color scale 11 Max.
Acid value < 5.0 (mg KOH/g)
Iodine Value > 60



Egg yolk has been used in traditional cosmetics since the eleventh century in Jewish, Greek, Arab and Latin cultures.[6] Several popular modern cosmetic brands contain egg oil.

Skin care[edit]

Egg oil can be used as an excipient/carrier in a variety of cosmetic preparations such as creams, ointments, sun-screen products or lotions where it acts as an emollient, moisturizer, anti-oxidant, penetration enhancer, occlusive skin conditioner and anti-bacterial agent.[7]



For treatment of scabies in Spain, oil of egg yolk was used along with oil of castor and roses[8] in ancient Andalusia.


Egg oil was traditionally used in treating wounds and injuries.[9] In the 16th century, Ambroise Paré used a solution of egg yolk, oil of roses, and turpentine for war wounds, an old method that the Romans had discovered 1000 years before him. He published his first book 'The method of curing wounds caused by arquebus and firearms' in 1545.

Infant nutrition[edit]

Egg oil is a potential source of polyunsaturated fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid and arachidonic acid for infant nutrition[10] or combined with fish oil for infant formula production.[11] It is also a source of vitamin D.[12][unreliable source?]


  1. ^ United States Patent no. 4219585
  2. ^ Gray, F.S. (1821) A supplement to the pharmacopoeia: being a treatise on pharmacology in general. p.227. Thomas and George Underwood. Retrieved October 2011
  3. ^ M. W. Warren, H. G. Brown and D. R. Davis: Solvent extraction of lipid components from egg yolk solids [1]
  4. ^ Tini M, Jewell UR, Camenisch G, Chilov D, Gassmann M (2002). "Generation and application of chicken egg-yolk antibodies". Comp. Biochem. Physiol., Part a Mol. Integr. Physiol. 131 (3): 569–574. doi:10.1016/S1095-6433(01)00508-6. PMID 11867282. 
  5. ^ American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
  6. ^ P. Cavallo, M. C. Proto1, C. Patruno. "The first cosmetic treatise of history - A female point of view". International Journal of Cosmetic Science. 
  7. ^ Halldor Thormar. Lipids and Essential Oils as Antimicrobial Agents. 
  8. ^ "El Tratamiento De Las Enfermedades Infecciosas en Al-Andalus". Rev Esp Quimioterap 17 (4): 350–356. December 2004. 
  9. ^ US patent 2555731, W.B. Cooper, "Oil Produced from Eggs" 
  10. ^ Simopoulos, AP; Salem Jr, N (1992). "Egg yolk as a source of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in infant feeding". The American journal of clinical nutrition 55 (2): 411–4. PMID 1734678. 
  11. ^ US patent 4670285 
  12. ^ M. P. Sinha. Csir-Ugc Net/jrf/slet General Sciences [paper-I (part-A).