Animal Industry Report

Extension Number

ASL R2263


Animal Products

Summary and Implications

The color of egg yolk was not influenced but the viscosity of egg white was dramatically lowered and became watery by irradiation. The foam capacity and foam stability of egg white were significantly decreased due to protein oxidation by irradiation. However, the texture characteristics of egg white were not changed by irradiation, indicating that irradiation may not alter the thermal characteristics of egg white proteins. Sulfur volatiles were generated by irradiation but disappeared during storage under aerobic conditions. Because egg white became watery, irradiation may not be advisable for table eggs, but may be useful for pasteurizing liquid egg white or liquid whole egg without significant deterioration of their quality and functionality. Especially, the dramatic decrease in the viscosity of egg white by irradiation will improve flow of liquid egg white or liquid whole egg, which could be highly useful for egg processing. Therefore, further studies on egg irradiation should be focused on liquid eggs rather than table egg.

Copyright Holder

Iowa State University