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Poult Sci. 2002 Aug;81(8):1132-5.

Reduction of eggshell aerobic plate counts by ultraviolet irradiation.

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  • 1Poultry Science Department, Texas A&M University, College Station 77843-2472, USA.


The effects of 254 nm ultraviolet light (UV) radiation on aerobic plate count (APC) of egg shells were investigated. In the first experiment, eggs were exposed to UV treatment (7.35 mW/cm2) for 0, 15, 30, and 60 s. Three eggs from each treatment were aseptically collected and placed into sterile plastic bags containing 50 mL of sterile phosphate-buffered solution. Serial dilutions of the phosphate-buffered solution were plated on aerobic plate count agar and incubated at 37 C for 48 h. Exposure of eggshells to 30 and 60 s UV significantly reduced aerobic plate counts compared to untreated eggs. Exposure to 60 s of UV resulted in a 2 to 3 log10 cfu/egg APC reduction and reduced counts below detectable levels. In the second experiment, UV lights were placed in a chamber equipped with a commercial-style egg conveyor. A UV treatment of 7.5 mW/cm2 and time intervals of 0, 12, 36, and 48 s were used. Three eggs were placed consecutively on the conveyor and passed through the chamber. The center egg was selected for APC evaluation. Sample size, dilution, plating, and incubation procedures were used as described for the first experiment. A significant 1 to 2 log10 reduction in colony-forming units per egg between the eggs treated 48 s to the untreated eggs was detected. The results of these studies show that UV light treatment at high intensities and low time intervals has the potential to reduce aerobic plate counts of eggshells.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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