Department of Agricultural & Biological Engineering, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA.
During commercial processing, eggs are washed in an alkaline detergent and then rinsed with chlorine to reduce dirt, debris, and microorganism levels. The alkaline and acidic fractions of electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) water have the ability to fit into the 2-step commercial egg washing process easily if proven to be effective. Therefore, the efficacy of EO water to decontaminate Salmonella Enteritidis and Escherichia coli K12 on artificially inoculated shell eggs was investigated. For the in vitro study, eggs were soaked in alkaline EO water followed by soaking in acidic EO water at various temperatures and times. Treated eggs showed a reduction in population between > or = 0.6 to > or =2.6 log10 cfu/g of shell for S. Enteritidis and > or =0.9 and > or =2.6 log10 for E. coli K12. Log10 reductions of 1.7 and 2.0 for S. Enteritidis and E. coli K12, respectively, were observed for typical commercial detergent-sanitizer treatments, whereas log10 reductions of > or =2.1 and > or =2.3 for S. Enteritidis and E. coli K12, respectively, were achieved using the EO water treatment. For the pilot-scale study, both fractions of EO water were compared with the detergent-sanitizer treatment using E. coli K12. Log10 reductions of > or = 2.98 and > or = 2.91 were found using the EO water treatment and the detergent-sanitizer treatment, respectively. The effects of 2 treatments on egg quality were investigated. EO water and the detergent-sanitizer treatments did not significantly affect albumen height or eggshell strength; however, there were significant affects on cuticle presence. These results indicate that EO water has the potential to be used as a sanitizing agent for the egg washing process.