Y. Nys

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STRATEGIES FOR REINFORCING HYGIENIC QUALITY OF TABLE EGGS

Y. Nys, S. Rehault-Godberg, J. Gautron, W. Messens, K. Mertens, C. Perianu, I. Dunn, F. Pasquali, P. Rocculi, F. Sirri, A. Franchini, M. Bain, M. Hincke

Abstract
This review describes different strategies which have been explored to reduce food safety risks associated with egg consumption. The first one aims to reinforce the chemical (antimicrobial proteins) protection mechanism of eggs by identifying genes coding proteins involved in egg protection. The following step is to explore phenotypic variability in egg protection against Salmonella related to environmental factors during egg production and storage and the feasibility to select hens with superior anti-microbial alleles using marker assisted selection. A complementary approach is to eliminate eggs at risk by improving the technology for egg grading using non-invasive methods to enhance the detection of eggs with the greatest risk to the consumer. Finally, the risk can be controlled by reducing the degree of egg contamination by developing innovative egg decontamination treatments alternative to egg washing. We explored the decontamination efficiency of hot air, gas plasma sterilization, modified atmosphere packaging of eggs. These approaches were developed under the European programmes RESCAPE.

Key words: egg, antimicrobial, genetic, egg grading, decontamination