Submitted to: Poultry Science
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/15/2005
Publication Date: 7/31/2005
Citation: Caudill, A.B., Curtis, P.A., Jones, D.R., Musgrove, M.T., Anderson, K.E., Oyarzabal, O.A. 2005. Effects of cool water washing of shell eggs on microbiological and interior quality. Poultry Science.Vol 84(SUPP 1):77 Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Recent identification of several emerging pathogens in the United States has contributed to increased consumer awareness of food safety issues. Salmonella Enteritidis (SE) is the most common human pathogen associated with shell eggs and egg products. Reduction of SE in eggs has been a focus of the egg industry, consumer groups, and the federal government for the last decade. Current regulations state that wash water temperature must be at least 90°F or 20°F warmer than the warmest egg. Today’s egg washing process increases the internal temperature of the egg 12-14°F. Washing eggs at a cooler temperature could aid in reducing the internal egg temperature, and in turn, possibly reduce potential SE growth and preserve quality factors such as vitelline membrane strength. A pilot study was conducted to determine the feasibility of using cold water to wash eggs. The objective of the pilot study was to rapidly cool eggs to refrigerated temperatures in an effort to decrease SE growth in contaminated eggs by increasing vitelline membrane strength, which would decrease nutrients available for SE growth. Eggs were washed using six different wash water temperature combinations. A ten week storage study followed in which the vitelline membrane strength and microbial levels were monitored weekly. Microbial results will be reported in a separate paper. The force required to break the vitelline membrane was measured using a Texture Technologies TA-XT2i Texture Analyzer. No difference was found between wash water temperature configurations. There was, however, a significant difference (P<0.05) in the force required to break the vitelline membrane as storage time progressed. As expected, the vitelline membrane became weaker over time.