FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO IMPROVEMENT IN EGG QUALITY
The criteria for assessing external and internal quality of eggs include such diverse and important aspects as safety, nutritional, organoleptic and technological properties of eggs and is influenced by a broad range of factors such as the physiology, genetics, nutrition and management of the hens. Genetics are an efficient tool to improve quality but historically egg productivity was the first priority producing spectacular improvement. Selection for egg quality was used mainly to avoid any negative shift in eggshell quality or internal defect. However, internal quality has taken on greater importance for about 10 years and development of molecular genetics is promising for selecting hens with superior egg quality. Nutrition is important for controlling eggshell quality and can successfully enrich the egg in some minor components of interest for human nutrition. The system of production influences the hygienic quality of eggs, This is particularly true in the alternative systems to cage production. Egg safety can have a very large impact on egg consumption and is highly dependant on government regulation. A promising area for improvement is the development of non invasive and rapid physical techniques to measure eggshell and internal egg quality at the egg packing plant. The sensitivity of this technique can enlarge the number of downgraded egg but eliminate egg at risk for the consumers and is also providing new tools for genetic selection. Egg quality has therefore been continuously improved as has the demand for higher quality eggs from the consumers!