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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #300665

Title: Nondestructive pasteurization of shell eggs using radio frequency energy

item Geveke, David
item Bigley Jr, Andrew
item BRUNKHORST, CHRISTOPHER - Princeton University

Submitted to: UJNR Food & Agricultural Panel Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/26/2013
Publication Date: 12/6/2013
Citation: Geveke, D.J., Bigley Jr, A.B., Brunkhorst, C. 2013. Nondestructive pasteurization of shell eggs using radio frequency energy. Proceedings of the United States-Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources (UJNR), Food and Agriculture Panel 42nd Annual Meeting. December 7-12, 2013. Tsukuba, Japan. p.15-16.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Shell eggs are on the top of the list of the 10 riskiest foods regulated by the Food and Drug Administration and 352 outbreaks from 1990 to 2006 were linked to eggs. The goals of this study were to design and assemble an apparatus to apply RF energy to shell eggs and to develop a process for pasteurizing shell eggs using RF energy that is faster and less destructive to quality than hot water immersion. A new method was developed that used penetrating radio frequency (RF) energy to quickly heat the yolk of an egg as it was being rotated on rollers. RF energy passed between electrodes on either side of the egg. Controlled streams of cool water simultaneously flowed over the egg to protect the white. This initiated pasteurization of the yolk while maintaining a low temperature in the heat-sensitive egg white, thus preventing hazing. Then the egg was briefly bathed in 56.7 °C water to pasteurize the white and finish pasteurizing the yolk. The entire process took 20 min. The RF process inactivated 5 log Salmonella typhimurium in shell eggs and maintained the fresh egg white appearance. Pasteurization using this method maintains the fresh appearance of shell eggs and reduces the threat of salmonellosis from uncooked and undercooked eggs.