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Quail Eggs: Nutritional Facts and Ways to Cook

By: (Dr. M. Ahmad, Ph.D.,Retd. Dy. Comm. Poultry, Govt. Of India)

Quail is a species of small game bird that belongs to the Phasianidae family, which includes the partridge, pheasant and common chicken. Although quail have always been hunted as a survival food, various 20th century French chefs made the birds popular as a culinary specialty. Eventually, quail eggs also become accepted as a gourmet delicacy in many cultures, as well as common street fare. Although the eggs are typically smaller than what you’re probably accustomed to seeing on your breakfast plate, quail-egg nutrition is similar to that of the chicken egg.


Originally, French cuisine called for Coturnix coturnix, the species referred to as common quail. However, the species most commonly used for meat and eggs today is Coturnix coturnix japonica, also known as Japanese or Asiatic quail. According to an article written by Sam K. Varghese for the “Feather Fancier” newspaper, these quails have been raised as domesticated birds in Japan since the 11th century. By the early 20th century, Japanese quails were raised specifically for meat and eggs. Hens in this species begin producing eggs by six weeks of age, laying up to 300 eggs each year. In the U.S., a larger bird known as the North American Bobwhite quail is commonly raised for the production of meat and eggs. Hens of this species do not reach sexual maturity until 16 weeks of age and the eggs are smaller than the Japanese variety.In India ‘Coturnix coturnix japonica’ popularly known as japaneez quails  is only recognized  species (majdood ahmad,2000)


A quail egg has 1 g of fat, which provides 1.5 percent of the daily value for fat calories. Saturated fat makes up .3 g of this total, which is 1.5 percent of the daily value for calories from saturated fat. A quail egg also contains 76 mg of cholesterol, or about 25 percent of the daily value for cholesterol.


A quail egg also contains 1.17g of protein, which is 2.3 percent of the daily value for protein.


A quail egg contains .04 g simple sugar, which is an insignificant amount. It has no complex carbohydrates or dietary fiber.


According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, a serving of one quail egg weighing approximately 9 g provides nearly 1.2 g of protein but only 14 calories, with virtually no carbohydrates or sugars. This provides .3 percent of the daily value for calories, assuming a standard diet of 2,000 calories per day. Fat contributes nine calories and protein provides the remaining five calories.

Vitamins and Minerals

A quail egg contains 5.8 percent of the daily value for vitamin B12, 5.5 percent of the daily value for riboflavin and 5.3 percent of the daily value for selenium. It also has 3.2 percent of the daily value for pantothenic acid and 2.9 percent of the daily value for phosphorus. Additional nutrients in a quail egg include 1.6 percent of the daily value for vitamin A and 1.5 percent of the daily value for folate. Quail eggs also contain several vitamins and minerals, including vitamins B-6, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, beta-carotene and lutein. Quail eggs also provide a significant amount of, potassium, selenium and calcium, and smaller amounts of iron, manganese, copper and zinc. In addition, quail eggs contain 18 amino acids.


Some people believe that quail eggs are higher in cholesterol than chicken eggs, possibly because the quail-egg shells are usually dark or speckled. However, according to a study published in the April 2003 issue of the “Journal of Food Composition and Analysis,” there is no significant difference in the cholesterol content between the eggs of either species.

Serving Methods

Quail eggs are just as versatile as chicken eggs and are used by nearly every culture in the world. The traditional way to serve quail eggs in French cooking is soft-boiled, along with potato “galettes,” which are sliced fingerling potatoes fried in oil until golden and seasoned with Parmesan cheese and black pepper. In Vietnam and Thailand, boiled quail eggs are available by the bag wherever beer is served. Quail eggs are prominent in Japanese cuisine as well. They are often hard-boiled and paired with fish, rice and steamed vegetables in a “bento,” the Japanese version of a boxed lunch available in railway stations and convenience stores. Quail eggs are also found in certain sushi dishes. Donna Hay, author of “Marie Claire Cooking,” offers a recipe for a salad that combines roasted Japanese pumpkin with marinated olives, feta cheese, oregano and soft-boiled quail eggs.

 Nutritional Value of Cooked Quail Eggs:

Quail eggs are a specialty food item often found in Asian markets or specialty food shops. Quail eggs are about one-quarter the size of chicken eggs, but have a similar flavor. Like the chicken egg, cooked quail eggs are a good source of protein, but high in cholesterol. If quail eggs are part of your healthy diet, knowing the nutrition information can help you make adjustments to fit it in.


Quail eggs are significantly smaller than chicken eggs, making it difficult to eat just one. One hard-boiled quail egg contains 14 calories. Typically, five quail eggs equals one serving, at 70 calories. By comparison, one large hard-boiled chicken egg contains 75 calories. If you follow a 2,000-calorie diet, one serving of boiled quail eggs only meets about 4 percent of your daily calorie intake, making it a low-calorie food choice.

Protein and Carbohydrates

Five hard-boiled quail eggs contain 6 g of protein, the same amount found in one chicken egg. The protein in the quail eggs provide your body with all of the essential amino acids, making them a high-quality source of protein. How much protein you need to eat each day depends on your age and sex. In general, healthy adult men need about 56 g of protein a day, and healthy adult women 46 g a day. One serving of quail eggs meets about 10 percent of your daily protein needs. Hard-boiled quail eggs do not contain any carbs.

Fat and Cholesterol

While quail eggs are a good source of protein, most of the calories in the eggs come from its fat content. Five hard-boiled quail eggs contains 5 g of total fat, 2 g of saturated fat and 380 mg of cholesterol. Consuming too much saturated fat and cholesterol can increase your blood cholesterol levels and risk of heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends you limit your total fat intake to 25 to 35 percent of calories, saturated fat to less than 7 percent of calories and dietary cholesterol to less than 300 mg a day. One serving of the boiled quail eggs meets more than a day’s worth of your daily cholesterol needs.

Vitamins and Minerals

Quail eggs are a nutrient-rich food, providing your body with a number of essential vitamins and minerals. Five quail eggs contains 1.64 mg of iron, 14.4 mcg of selenium, 30 mcg of folate, 244 IU of vitamin A and 25 IU of vitamin D. Quail eggs are an especially good source of the trace mineral selenium. Your body needs adequate intakes of selenium to make antioxidant enzymes that protect your cells against free-radical damage, which might decrease your risk of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease or cancer.

 Value added egg products

Pickled eggs: A simple, cost-effective and efficient technology developed for pickling of quail eggs/ chicken eggs for storage and marketing at ambient temperature in ready-to-eat form. Salted chicken eggs:Preparation of salted chicken eggs technology is so simple to be used by unskilled people including housewives.
Albumen rings:Albumen rings are egg snack food, prepared by cooking blended egg albumen in ring molds and battering and breading the coagulated albumen prior to deep fat frying. Egg roll: It is a nutritious, tasty and convenience egg product suitable for meals or as snack foods.

Egg crepe: Egg crepe is a thin, fat, circular product and may be filled with meat or vegetables and rolled or folded. It is an egg-rich product and can be popularized as a convenient egg item at growing fast food outlets and at homes. Crepes has a shelf-life of 22 days in vacuum and 20 days in aerobic packaging at refrigeration (4 ± 1°C) and for  60 days at freezing (-18 ± 1°C) temperature in both vacuum and aerobic packaging.
Egg Waffles: Egg Waffle is a nutritious, light, crispy and versatile snack food for the breakfast. This product offers a potential market at growing fast food outlets. Egg Waffles prepared from 65% liquid whole egg with 10% wheat flour and 5% granulated wheat are most acceptable and has an ambient shelf-life of 4 days in vacuum and 3 days in air packs, while at refrigeration temperature, it can keep well for 10 days in vacuum and 6 days in air packs with satisfactory microbiological quality.


Oil-coating preservation of eggs:

Eggs are spray-coated with edible vegetable oil (groundnut oil) containing anti-oxidant or liquid paraffin. About 7500 eggs can be coated with one litre of oil and such treated eggs can be safely stored for 30 and 120 days at mean ambient (31°C) and refrigeration (5°C) temperatures, respectively.



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