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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 #338555

Research Project: Development and Validation of Innovative Food Processing Interventions

Location: Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research

Title: Interventions for shell eggs

item Geveke, David

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/14/2016
Publication Date: 11/14/2016
Citation: Geveke, D.J. 2016. Interventions for shell eggs. Meeting Abstract. Volume 1, Page 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Eggs are the second riskiest foods regulated by the U.S. FDA. Less than 3% of shell eggs are pasteurized using a hot water process that unfortunately damages the appearance and functionality of the eggs. In addition, the current process adds more than $1.50 to the cost of a dozen eggs. Therefore, alternative intervention methods have been researched including irradiation, ozone and cryogenic cooling, but these all have problems. A new and promising alternative pasteurization method using radio frequency (RF) energy has recently been developed. It pasteurizes shell eggs in approximately 40% of the time required for the hot water method. The process first RF heats the egg for 6 min, and then heats the egg for an additional 15 min in 56.7 C water. This process reduced the population of Salmonella typhimurium by 5 log without affecting the appearance of the albumen. The total time for the process was 21 min. By contrast, processing for 60 min was required to reduce the Salmonella by 5 log using 56.7 C water only, and the albumen’s appearance became hazy and its functionality was statistically worse. The novel RF pasteurization process presented in this study is considerably faster and less damaging than the existing commercial pasteurization process, and it could reduce the number of egg-borne Salmonella illnesses by up to 85 percent, or more than 110,000 cases a year.