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Title: Physical quality and composition of retail shell eggs

item Jones, Deana
item Musgrove, Michael

Submitted to: World Poultry Congress Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/20/2007
Publication Date: 6/30/2008
Citation: Jones, D.R., Musgrove, M.T., Anderson, K.E., Thesmar, H.S. 2008. Physical quality and composition of retail shell eggs. World Poultry Science Journal.64(2):503

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: A study was conducted to compare the physical quality and composition of eight types of retail shell eggs available in the local market. Eggs were purchased on 3 separate occasions (replicates). The survey consisted of white and brown; traditional; cage free; free roaming; pasteurized; vitamin enhanced; and fertile shell eggs. The average time from processing to purchase was 7.67 – 25.33 d (P < 0.05). The shortest time was seen for the traditional white (7.67 d) and brown (11.67 d) whereas pasteurized (24.00 d) and fertile brown (25.33 d) eggs were the longest. Haugh unit values ranged from 66.67 – 84.42 (P < 0.01) with traditional (84.42) and pasteurized (81.99) white eggs having the highest values; cage-free, omega-3 enhanced white eggs had the lowest (66.67). Albumen height followed a similar pattern. Egg weight was greater (P < 0.05) for brown (61.12 g) compared to white (58.85 g) eggs. Brown eggs (4130.61 g) also had significantly greater (P < 0.05) static compression shell strength than white eggs (3690.31 g). Vitelline membrane strength (P < 0.05) was greatest for traditional brown (2.24 g) with cage free, omega-3 enhanced and fertile brown eggs having the lowest (1.70 g). Percent total solids (P < 0.05) were greatest in the cage free, omega-3 enhanced (25.07 %) and lowest in traditional brown (23.16 %) and fertile brown (23.45 %) eggs. Crude fat (P < 0.05) was greatest for the cage free, omega-3 enhanced white eggs (11.71 %) and lowest for fertile brown (9.93 %), traditional brown (10.02 %) and free roaming brown (10.09 %). Percent protein (P < 0.05) ranged from 12.87 – 13.39 %. The highest percent protein was detected in the free roaming brown and the lowest was found in the fertile brown eggs. The results from this study indicate the variability of physical quality and composition of shell eggs available in the local retail market. Product quality serves as one of the main considerations for repeat purchase of foods. Utilizing the results from this study, producers can assess their production, processing, and distribution practices to enhance their overall product quality in comparison to other retail shell eggs.