Russian scientists have developed an inexpensive, safe and reliable technology for disinfecting the surface of packaged eggs. A description of the technology was published in the journal Food and Bioproducts Processing.
The new disinfection technology kills bacteria on eggshells, including salmonella. It also allows you to grow broiler chickens with a stable immunity to viral diseases. Packaged eggs are disinfected with an electron beam for 50 nanoseconds (one billionth of a second). The whole process takes place in plastic containers.
“Disinfection of packaged eggs protects eggs from subsequent contamination during storage,” explains Sergei Sokovnin, professor at the Ural Federal University and the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. – We have been able to create a method for disinfecting the container and eggshell, which does not affect the physical properties of the protein, yolk and shell or their composition. And the size of the eggs doesn’t matter. ”
86% of chicks from untreated eggs show signs of chronic inflammation. In chickens from irradiated eggs, this figure reached only 4%. At the same time, the chickens from the second group had an increased immunity to Newcastle disease. This is a viral disease of birds. This means that chickens from sterilized eggs will be less sick. And it will be possible to significantly reduce the dose of antibiotics during the growth process.
This technology also saves time for industrial manufacturers. It takes about six hours less to hatch chicks from clean eggs. Instead of the usual 22-24 hours, chicks appear in 16-18 hours. This reduces manufacturing costs.
The technology allows irradiation of up to 40 eggs per second. The cost of disinfecting a plastic package of 10 eggs was 1.2 euro cents. If one technological line works in a shift of 250 working days a year, then the investment will pay off in five years. In this case, the main costs are staff salaries, overhead costs and equipment costs.
There are no serious technical problems with the implementation of the technology. The small size of the accelerator makes it easy to integrate into existing egg control and packaging lines in poultry farms. The technology, according to scientists, can also be used to disinfect the surface of eggs of other birds and products with peels or other natural packaging (seeds, bananas, oranges).