Development and Evaluation of a Commercially Feasible Hydrogen Peroxide and Ultraviolet Light Egg Sanitization System
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Egg sanitization is important for hatchery sanitation, hatchability and hatchling health. A method of egg sanitization that applies hydrogen peroxide (H_(2)O_(2)) to the eggshell followed by ultraviolet light (UV) exposure has been previously studied (H_(2)O_(2)/UV method). This method of sanitization utilizes the photolytic reaction that occurs between H_(2)O_(2) and UV to produce hydroxyl radicals and kill eggshell bacteria. Previous research has applied this method in a rudimentary, lab-scale manner not suitable for commercial implementation. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to further develop the H_(2)O_(2)/UV method for commercial implementation. An apparatus was built to mechanize the process and apply to eggs at commercially feasible speeds. A series of experiments was conducted to optimize the parameters of H_(2)O_(2)/UV apparatus application. Results from these experiments showed a significant eggshell bacterial reduction (P < 0.001) when eggs were treated with the H_(2)O_(2)/UV apparatus. To make the implementation of the apparatus in a commercial setting more economically feasible, experiments were also conducted to optimize the treatment of eggs on commercial incubator flats. Samples analyzed in laboratory tests and field trials showed that eggshell bacterial counts were reduced to levels less than the limit of detection (< 20 cfu/egg) for nearly all eggs when treating eggs on commercial incubator flats. Incubation experiments showed that the H_(2)O_(2)/UV apparatus treatment did not negatively impact hatchability or chick quality. This research demonstrated that the H_(2)O_(2)/UV apparatus treatment can effectively reduce eggshell bacteria of hatching eggs in a manner that is commercially feasible and does not negatively impact hatchability or chick quality.
Fuchs, Nathan Leo (2013). Development and Evaluation of a Commercially Feasible Hydrogen Peroxide and Ultraviolet Light Egg Sanitization System. Master's thesis, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from