Effect of dry heating on the microbiological quality, functional properties, and natural bacteriostatic ability of egg white after reconstitution.

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

J Food Prot, Volume 66, Issue 5, p.825-32 (2003)

Keywords:

Consumer Product Safety, Desiccation, Egg White, Food Handling, Food Microbiology, Hot Temperature, Humans, Hygiene, Quality Control, Salmonella, Salmonella Food Poisoning, Time Factors

Abstract:

Spray-dried egg white (powder) is widely used in the food industry because of its variety of functional properties and its practical advantages. Moreover, egg white powder is generally considered safe because it can withstand high temperatures that allow for the destruction of all pathogens, especially Salmonella. In France, two types of treatments are used to improve the functional properties (whipping and gelling) of dried egg white: standard storage at 67 degrees C for about 15 days and storage at 75 to 80 degrees C for 15 days. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of two dry-heating treatments (storage at 67 and 75 degrees C for 15 days) on the subsequent ability of egg white to resist Salmonella growth after reconstitution. The impact on the endogenous microflora of the powder and on its functional properties was also considered. Both dry-heating treatments were efficient in destroying a large number of Salmonella. Dry heating at 75 degrees C affected the bacteriostatic ability of reconstituted egg white to a greater extent than did dry heating at 67 degrees C. This loss of bacteriostatic ability could be attributable to the thermal denaturation of ovotransferrin, resulting in a reduction in its activity as an iron chelator. However, dry heating at 75 degrees C resulted in improved functional properties. Ultimately, no complete compromise between better functional quality and the preservation of the bacteriostatic ability of egg white after reconstitution is possible. Our results underline the importance of the use of hygienic conditions with egg white powder, especially with powder subjected to high-temperature treatments.