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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: EGG PROCESSING SAFETY, QUALITY AND SECURITY Title: Egg Quality – What’s the Point?


Submitted to: National Egg Quality School Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 22, 2006
Publication Date: May 22, 2006
Citation: Jones, D.R. 2006. Egg quality – what’s the point? . National Egg Quality School Proceedings. p. 51-53.

Technical Abstract: The descriptor “high quality” for a food product depends on who is viewing the product. There are many aspects of quality when it comes to shell eggs. The main areas of egg quality are: physical, functional, antimicrobial, and nutritional. Gaining an understanding of what affects these areas of quality can help you to maintain them. In general, egg quality decreases as the egg ages. Furthermore, egg quality is maintained best at temperatures just above the freezing point of an egg (approximately 31F (-0.5C)). There are processing guidelines in place to help ensure high quality eggs are reaching the consumer. These guidelines are part of the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service voluntary grade shield program. The USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service has a post-processing ambient storage temperature requirement of 45F (7.2C) to assist with maintaining the microbial quality of shell eggs. Having an understanding of shell egg quality and how to maintain it will result in higher quality products reaching the consumer.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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