MTT Agrifood Research Finland has identified in a collaboration with the German Institute for Animal Breeding Mariensee (Federal Agricultural Research Centre, FAL) and Lohmann Tierzucht GmbH a genetic defect, which impairs the quality of brown eggs by producing a fishy odour. The MTT research team has also developed an efficient procedure to test for the defect. Lohmann Tierzucht (LTZ), one of the world’s largest chicken breeding companies, has already begun to apply this procedure, and marketing of the first chicken parent stock free of the defect will begin worldwide at the end of the year.
The fishy taint occurring in brown eggs has caused major problems for chicken breeders, producers and trade in the EU, where most hens’ eggs consumed are of the brown variety. In Finland, however, brown eggs account for less than 10 percent of all eggs sold.
At worst, the smell of rotting fish can be so strong that it persists even the cooking of eggs. When trade buyers find tainted eggs through spot checks, the producer faces significant loss as the entire batch must be withdrawn from sale. The problem is most severe in Central Europe.
Ulla Jauhiainen | alfa
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