Researchers in Taiwan have produced low-cholesterol eggs.

The team, based at the Institute of Microbiology and Biochemistry at the National Taiwan University, worked for four years on a programme to produce low-cholesterol eggs by feeding chickens with food blended with a natural cholesterol-lowering ingredient, reported AFX Asia.

"Hens fed with corn blended with red-yeast rice will produce eggs containing cholesterol less by up to 15% than normal ones while preserving their original nutrient content," lead researcher Pan Tzu-ming is reported as saying.

Red-yeast rice is traditionally used as a food colourant and herbal remedy in Chinese cuisine. Its cholesterol-lowering property has been scientifically proven, the article stated.

The effective yeast strain has been named Monascus purpureus NTU803 and the university is planning to market the eggs in cooperation with the cabinet's Council of Agriculture, the paper said. Consumers are expected to be able to buy the eggs in the (unspecified) near future, and the eggs will likely retail at prices two the three times dearer than conventional eggs.