The majority of Salmonella Enteritidis outbreaks have been related to the consumption of raw or undercooked eggs or egg-containing foods. Therefore, the U.S. Department of Agriculture mandates egg washing for all graded eggs by use of a detergent solution and sanitizer. These agencies and the egg industry have been investigating alternative decontamination techniques, which could better serve the public, minimize costs, and benefit both the public and the industry. Pulsed UV light is an emerging technology that is used to inactivate microorganisms quickly. In this study, the effectiveness of pulsed UV light was evaluated for the decontamination of eggshells. Eggs inoculated with Salmonella Enteritidis on the top surface at the equator were treated with pulsed UV light 1 to 30 s, at a distance of 9.5 and 14.5 cm from the UV lamp in a laboratory-scale, pulsed UV light chamber. Three eggs were used per treatment in each repetition, except for quality measurements, which involved six eggs per treatment in each repetition. A maximum log reduction of 5.3 CFU/cm2 was obtained after a 20-s treatment at 9.5 cm below the UV lamp at a total dose of 23.6 + 0.1 J/cm2 without any visual damage to the egg. After a 30-s treatment at 9.5 and 14.5 cm, the temperature of eggshell surfaces increased by 16.3 and 13.3°C, respectively. Energy usage increased up to 35.3 + 0.1 and 24.8 + 0.1 J/cm2 after 30-s treatments at 9.5 and 14.5 cm, respectively. The effect of pulsed UV light treatments on egg quality was also evaluated. Pulsed UV-light treatments for 3, 10, and 20 s at either 9.5 or 14.5 cm did not change the albumen height, eggshell strength, or cuticle presence significantly (P > 0.05). This study demonstrated that pulsed UV light has potential to decontaminate eggshell surfaces.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science