POULTRY SCIENCE, vol.94, no.7, pp.1665-1677, 2015 (SCI-Expanded)
The effectiveness of various coatings (whey protein isolate [WPI], whey protein concentrate [WPC], zein, and shellac) on functional properties, interior quality, and eggshell breaking strength of fresh eggs were evaluated during storage at 24 degrees C for 6 weeks. Coatings and storage time had significant effects on Haugh unit, yolk index, albumen pH, dry matter (DMA), relative whipping capacity (RWC), and albumen viscosity. Uncoated eggs had higher albumen pH (9.56) and weight loss, and lower albumen viscosity (5.73), Haugh unit (HU), and yolk index (YI) during storage. Among the coated eggs, the shellac and zein coated eggs had the highest value of albumen viscosity (27.26 to 26.90), HU (74.10 to 73.61), and YI (44.84 to 44.63) after storage. Shellac (1.44%) was more effective in preventing weight loss than WPC (4.59%), WPI (4.60%), and zein (2.13%) coatings. Uncoated eggs had the higest value (6.71%) of weight lost. All coatings increased shell strength (5.18 to 5.73 for top and 3.58 to 4.71 for bottom) significantly (P < 0.05) compared to the uncoated eggs (4.70 for top and 3.15 for bottom). The functional properties such as albumen DMA (14.50 to 16.66 and 18.97 for uncoated) and albumen RWC (841 to 891 and 475 for uncoated) of fresh eggs can be preserved during storage when they are coated. The shellac and zein coatings were more effective for maintaining the internal quality of fresh eggs during storage. Fourier transform near infrared (FT-NIR) in the 800 to 2500 nm reflection spectra were used to quantify the contents of the fresh eggs at the end of storage. Eggs coated with shellac or zein displayed a higher absorbance at 970 and 1,197 nm respectively (OH vibration of water) compared with those coated with WPI or WPC and the uncoated group at the end of storage. The coatings improved functional properties and also shell strength and could be a viable alternative technology for maintaining the internal quality of eggs during long-term storage. This study highlights the promising use of various coatings to both enhance the functional properties and to reduce the breakage of eggs.