Quality and Sensory Attributes of Shell Eggs Sanitized with a Combination of Hydrogen Peroxide and Ultraviolet Light
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Two experiments were conducted to evaluate the combination of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and ultraviolet light (UV) as an alternative eggshell sanitization procedure for shell egg processing. In each experiment, two cases of eggs (720 total) were collected at a commercial inline egg production facility. To assure egg uniformity, only eggs between 57 and 62 g were collected from a single hen house. Half of the eggs (360) were commercially processed (washer and sanitizing rinse) following normal procedures outlined by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for shell egg processing (control group). The other half of the eggs (360) were washed as normal but without the sanitizing rinse. These eggs were then treated with 3 percent H2O2 and UV light (treated group). The treatment consisted of spraying the eggs with 3 percent H2O2 over the entire shell surface followed immediately by exposure to UV light for 5 s in an enclosed chamber equipped with germicidal lamps (UV-C). This treatment was performed twice. Eggshell aerobic plate counts (APC), eggshell breaking strength and thickness, albumen height and pH, Haugh units, and yolk color were measured after 1, 15, 30, 45, and 60 days of storage. On d 15 and 45, sensory evaluation of scrambled egg samples was conducted to determine if consumers could detect a difference between treatment groups using a triangle test. Results indicate APC for treated eggs were significantly lower than the control eggs for all sampling days in Experiment 1. However, due to low initial APC in the control eggs on d 1 of Experiment 2, no significant differences were observed for APC between control and treated eggs during storage. No consistent differences were found for eggshell and interior quality measures with the exception of albumen pH. Albumen pH was significantly higher in treated eggs than control on d 45 and 60 and d 1, 15, and 45 of Experiment 1 and 2, respectively, with only an average difference of 0.04 pH. In the sensory evaluation, only 33.5 percent of the participants correctly differentiated between the control and treated eggs. Data from this study suggests that H2O2 and UV light can be used as an alternative eggshell sanitizing procedure without impacting eggshell or internal egg quality.
Woodring, Kristy Senise (2011). Quality and Sensory Attributes of Shell Eggs Sanitized with a Combination of Hydrogen Peroxide and Ultraviolet Light. Master's thesis, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from