Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

How to distinguish between battery and free-range eggs - without visiting the farm

01.04.2005


Scientists have developed a method of determining whether eggs labelled as ‘free-range’ or ‘barn’ have in fact been laid under battery conditions. The procedure, published in Journal of the Science of Food & Agriculture this month, means eggs can be tested without the need to visit farms.



The give-away is the dust that the eggs pick up from the surface on which they are laid.

Because the eggs are wet when freshly-laid, the dust attaches to the shell surfaces. The pattern this creates varies according to whether the eggs were laid on cage floors, barn nestboxes or outside. These distinctive patterns can easily be distinguished under ultraviolet light, as the dust fluoresces.


Professor Neville Gregory of the Royal Veterinary College, UK and colleagues in Australia used ultraviolet light to examine the surface patterns on 11520 eggs from cage, barn and free-range production systems.

360 eggs from each of 20 cage, seven barn and five free range units were examined, and categorised according to their dust patterns when exposed to UV light.

The type of floor material onto which each egg was laid was known for each farm.

The authors found that the prevalence of white double parallel lines with 2-2.5cm spacing was a distinguishing feature for eggs laid on wire floors in cages.

They conclude that if five or more eggs in a sample of 90 eggs have double fluorescent lines that there is a greater than 999 in 1000 probability that the batch contains some cage-laid eggs.

“The method is effective in distinguishing between free-range eggs and those laid on a wire floor cage,” said Professor Gregory.

“It does not damage the eggs, and can be applied at any stage in the egg marketing chain.”

However, washing the eggs removed or obscured the double lines, so the authors recommend that in countries where egg washing is common, it is best to perform the test before washing.

Distinguishing features in egg shell fluorescence can be used to identify when eggs have been washed, and they can also be used in preliminary screening tests for sun exposure, which in some countries is a cause of runniness of the egg white.

Jacqueline Ali | alfa
Further information:
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/cgi-bin/jhome/1294

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Alkaline soil, sensible sensor
03.08.2017 | American Society of Agronomy

nachricht New 3-D model predicts best planting practices for farmers
26.06.2017 | Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A Map of the Cell’s Power Station

18.08.2017 | Life Sciences

Engineering team images tiny quasicrystals as they form

18.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Researchers printed graphene-like materials with inkjet

18.08.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>