Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Now there is a way to tell the difference between battery laid eggs and free-range or barn

11.04.2005


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.

Virginia Fisher | alfa
Further information:
http://www.rvc.ac.uk

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Six-legged livestock -- sustainable food production
11.05.2017 | Faculty of Science - University of Copenhagen

nachricht Elephant Herpes: Super-Shedders Endanger Young Animals
04.05.2017 | Universität Zürich

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: Strathclyde-led research develops world's highest gain high-power laser amplifier

The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.

The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New insights into the ancestors of all complex life

29.05.2017 | Earth Sciences

New photocatalyst speeds up the conversion of carbon dioxide into chemical resources

29.05.2017 | Life Sciences

NASA's SDO sees partial eclipse in space

29.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>