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Title: Quality and Composition of Retail Shell Eggs

item Jones, Deana
item Musgrove, Michael
item ANDERSON, KENNETH - North Carolina State University
item THESMAR, HILARY - Egg Safety Center

Submitted to: National Egg Regulatory Officials Annual Meeting
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/23/2010
Publication Date: 3/7/2010
Citation: Jones, D.R., Musgrove, M.T., Anderson, K., Thesmar, H. 2010. Quality and Composition of Retail Shell Eggs. National Egg Regulatory Officials Annual Meeting. p.72-74.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Consumers are becoming more aware of their food choices. As part of this movement, sourcing and production information is often desired for agricultural products. Furthermore, products associated with added health benefits are also becoming more common in the marketplace. The US shell egg industry has begun to offer a diversified range of options to meet these consumer desires. The claims most often addressed on shell egg cartons are: husbandry practices, hen nutrition, enhanced egg nutrition, organic and fertile to name a few. Pricing for these products can vary from market to market. The pricing differences can be due to production/transportation costs or typical market pricing in the region. A great variety of shell eggs are in the market, but there is no clear understanding of the overall physical and compositional quality of these different types of shell eggs. Bell et al. (2001), Koelkebeck et al. (2001) and Patterson et al. (2001) conducted a regional analysis of various shell eggs purchased in 115 stores in 38 US cities. They monitored egg age, egg weight, albumen height, Haugh unit and percentage cracked eggs. The current study was undertaken to gain a more complete understanding of the physical and compositional quality of eight types of traditional and specialty shell eggs purchased from the same retail establishments on three occasions (replicates) in Athens, Georgia. Retail egg age, along with the physical quality factors of egg weight, albumen height, Haugh unit, shell thickness, shell weight, shell strength, vitelline membrane strength and vitelline membrane elasticity; along with the compositional factors of percent solids, crude fat, protein and ash were monitored.