Eggshell membrane

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Eggshell membrane is the clear film lining the chicken eggshell displayed

Eggshell membrane or shell membrane is the clear film lining eggshells, visible when one peels a boiled egg. Chicken eggshell membranes are used as a dietary supplement, having the objective of reducing or treating osteoarthritis, other stiffness, and pain of the joints.


Eggshell membrane is primarily composed of fibrous proteins such as collagen type I.[1] Eggshell membranes also have been shown to contain glycosaminoglycans, such as dermatan sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and sulfated glycoproteins including hexosamines, such as glucosamine. Other components identified in eggshell membranes are hyaluronic acid, sialic acid, desmosine isodesmosine, ovotransferrin, lysyl oxidase, lysozyme, and β-N-acetylglucosaminidase.[2]

Sources for dietary supplement production[edit]

Eggshell membrane is derived commercially from the eggshells of industrial egg processors. In the United States, egg-breaking facilities generate more than 24 billion broken eggshells every year.[3] There are various ways in which the membrane of an eggshell is separated from the shell, including chemical, mechanical, steam, and vacuum processes: see Eggshell and protein membrane separation.

It may be prepared for use as a dietary supplement. The isolated membrane is partially hydrolyzed and dried to produce a powder, that is distributed as eggshell membrane (EM) for use as a dietary supplement.


  1. ^ Wong, M.; Hendrix, M.J.; van der Mark, K.; Little, C.; Stern, R. (July 1984). "Collagen in the egg shell membranes of the hen". Dev Biol. 104 (1): 28–36. doi:10.1016/0012-1606(84)90033-2. PMID 6203793.
  2. ^ Ruff, Kevin J.; DeVore, Dale P.; Leu, Michael D.; Robinson, Mark A. (2009). "Eggshell membrane: A possible new natural therapeutic". Clinical Interventions in Aging. 4: 235–240. doi:10.2147/cia.s5797. PMC 2697588. PMID 19554094.
  3. ^ "ESM History". ESM Technologies. Retrieved 13 June 2014.