University of California

Measurement of deterioration in the stored hen’s egg


W. F. Holst
H. J. Almquist

Authors Affiliations

W. F. Holst was Assistant Professor of Poultry Husbandry, and Associate Poultry Husbandman in the Experiment Station; H. J. Almquist was Research Assistant in Poultry Husbandry.

Publication Information

Hilgardia 6(3):49-60. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v06n03p049. August 1931.

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If the meaning of the term ‘freshness,’ as applied to an egg, be restricted to indicate the degree to which the egg has retained its original internal and external quality during storage, then it follows that age, as a criterion of egg freshness, is excluded from consideration. This, within limits, is entirely justifiable, since variations exist not only in respect to the intrinsic keeping powers and initial quality of the individual egg, but also in the storage conditions to which the eggs may have been subjected. By the proper selection of eggs and a suitable control of their storage conditions, time as a factor governing the freshness of eggs may, for practical purposes, be to a certain extent eliminated. The other extreme can also be attained: eggs may be caused to deteriorate at a rapid rate. Unfortunately it is not usually feasible or profitable to modify commercial storage methods so as to achieve the optimum conditions. As a consequence certain undesirable processes may occur.

Several of the changes in the stored hen’s egg are sufficiently marked to be noticeable to anyone concerned with the keeping of eggs at or near their original fresh condition. These changes are shrinkage, liquefaction of the thick white, and passage of water into the yolk.

Loss of water from the egg can occur without noticeable change in other respects. Furthermore, loss of water can be prevented, yet thick white liquefaction may proceed at a rapid rate. The loss of water or of carbon dioxide from the egg may be caused to take place, each in the absence of the other, by properly controlling conditions; hence it is possible to test the above statements experimentally. This

Literature Cited

Greenlee A. D. Deterioration of eggs as shown by changes in the moisture content. Jour. Amer. Chem. Soc. 1911. 34:539-545. DOI: 10.1021/ja02205a021 [CrossRef]

Holst W. F., Almquist H. J. Distribution of solid matter in thick and thin egg white. Hilgardia. 1931. 6:45-48. DOI: 10.3733/hilg.v06n03p045 [CrossRef]

Sharp P. F., Powell C. K. Decrease in interior quality of hen eggs during storage as indicated by the yolk. Indus. Eng. Chem. 1930. 22:908-1010. DOI: 10.1021/ie50248a031 [CrossRef]

Holst W, Almquist H. 1931. Measurement of deterioration in the stored hen’s egg. Hilgardia 6(3):49-60. DOI:10.3733/hilg.v06n03p049
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