Manufacturing News

Technologies target Salmonella in eggs

As the U.S. government steps up efforts to reduce Salmonella Enteriditis illnesses resulting from eggs, food industry companies continue introducing treatments that either destroy the bacteria in the shell or significantly reduce its growth.

Using carbon dioxide, an egg-cooling unit reduces the temperature of freshly laid eggs by as much as 50 degrees in 80 seconds. Photo: Courtesy of Praxair

With Salmonella-infected eggs accounting for 300,000 illnesses a year, The President's Council on Food Safety last winter introduced an action plan that would eliminate any risk in eggs by 2010. Among other initiatives, the plan calls for identifying systems and activities necessary to ensure food safety from production to consumption. The plan also identifies promising developments in science and technology, including in-shell pasteurization.

Pasteurized Eggs, L.P. has begun rolling out eggs pasteurized by passing the product through a series of clean warm water baths that provide sufficient heat to kill the bacteria, but not cook the eggs. The eggs are quickly chilled in cold water to stop the cooking process, then inspected for cracks, treated with a sealant to prevent re-contamination, and packaged. Unlike irradiation, which can damage egg flavor and albumen integrity, the warm water method produces a product that "looks, cooks and tastes exactly the same as an unpasteurized egg," according to L. John Davidson of Pasteurized Eggs. First introduced at 1998's Poultry Show, the product is now available at East Coast supermarkets.

Meanwhile, manufacturer Praxair, Inc., recently informed the President's Council it has developed a means of rapidly cooling fresh eggs -- by as much as 50 degrees -- that could double the eggs' shelf life while reducing the risk of salmonella. Developed in conjunction with North Carolina State University, the method employs cryogenic carbon dioxide to bring egg temperature from as high as 109 F (the internal temperature of hens) to 40 to 45 F in about 80 seconds. Lowering the egg's internal temperature as quickly as possible reduces the possibility for increases in Salmonella populations, since cooler temperatures generally slow the bacteria's growth. In fact, current regulations indicate that eggs must be held at an ambient temperature of 45 F after processing and during transportation and retail storage.

Praxair has exclusive rights to market the technology, and the equipment has a patent pending.

The technology is currently being tested at Carolina Egg, a Nashville, N.C.-based company that processes about 1 million eggs per day. At the Nashville site, eggs in the test are laid, washed, sorted, graded, and then rapidly cooled in Praxair's tunnel cooler, cartoned, palletized and shipped. Normally, the eggs would need to cool in a refrigerator for days before being shipped. FE

Praxair Inc., 7000 High Grove Boulevard, Burr Ridge, IL 60521-7595 Tel: 630-320-4000

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to Food Engineering Magazine.

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo 2015

Images from Food Engineering's Food Automation & Manufacturing Conference and Expo in Clearwater Beach, Florida, April 12-15, 2015. The event brought food and beverage processors and suppliers together to gain valuable information on the latest trends and technologies in manufacturing, automation, sustainability and food safety.


Burns & McDonnell project manager RJ Hope and senior project engineer Justin Hamilton discuss the distinctions between Food Safety and Food Defense as well as the implications for food manufacturers of the Food Safety Modernization Act.
More Podcasts

Food Engineering

Food Engineering May 2015 Cover

2015 May

The May 2015 issue of Food Engineering explores effective tools for hitting manufacturing targets. Also, read how processors are looking for faster ways to detect harmful pathogens in food and beverages without sacrificing accuracy or reliability.

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Plant Facility/Site Issues

What issue about your current plant facility/site keeps you up the most at night?
View Results Poll Archive


Food Authentication Using Bioorganic Molecules

This text provides critical tools and data needed to augment routine food analysis and enhance food safety by aiding in the detection of counterfeit, and potentially deleterious, foods.

More Products

Clear Seas Research

Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications,Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


FE recent tweets

facebook_40.pngtwitter_40px.pngyoutube_40px.png linkedin_40px.pngGoogle +

Food Master

Food Engineering Food Master 2015Food Master 2015 is now available!

Where the buying process begins in the food and beverage manufacturing market. 

Visit to learn more.