A Henan housewife who was conned into buying 2.5 kilograms of fake eggs at the weekend found they were inedible after she boiled them.
She told the Dahe Daily that she bought the eggs from a van outside a food market in Luoyang on Sunday because the vendor was undercutting market prices by 80 fen (about HK$1) a kilogram.
"I thought they were farmers selling eggs from their own farms and that's why they were cheaper than in the market," she said.
But she soon discovered she could not bite into them and that they did not taste like eggs.
"They tasted like rubber bands … there was a congealed mass inside and the yolks were red," she said.
The egg vendor fled in his van when officers from Luoyang's industrial and commercial bureau turned up.
They told the newspaper they had seized similar fake eggs before.
"The real and fake eggs look no different," an official said, adding that they were probably manufactured outside Luoyang because city authorities had not found any large workshops producing them.
An industry insider said unscrupulous businessmen usually used calcium carbonate and gypsum to make the eggshells, resin, starch and coagulant to make the whites and resin and pigment for yolks.
Experts said eating artificial eggs could be harmful.
In February, mainland media reported that some Guangzhou residents had bought fake eggs that bounced when thrown on the ground.
But the city's food authorities said laboratory tests proved the eggs were real and blamed the "jumping plastic eggs" problem on too much cottonseed being added to hens' feed, the Southern Metropolis Daily reported.