The presence of salmonella bacteria in eggs is one of the main sanitary challenges of the egg producing sector, since eggs are the first cause of Salmonella outbreaks in all Europe. This bacterium resides in the intestinal tracts ofinfected hosts and is transmitted from the faeces of people and animals. Salmonellosis is one of the most common enteric (intestinal) infections and is the second most common food borne illness. There are several types of strains, but two of them, Salmonella Enteritidis and Salmonella Typhimurium, are responsible for half of all human infections. Once in the egg, Salmonella is very resistant. A person infected with the Salmonella enteritidis bacterium begins to show symptoms of infection 12 to 72 hours after consuming contaminated food - with infection lasting 4 to 7 days. While most persons recover with or without antibiotic treatment, diarrhoea can be sufficiently severe to require hospitalisation. The elderly, infants, pregnant women and those with impaired immune systems are more at risk with the potential of infections spreading from the intestines to the blood stream and to other body parts and ultimately threatening the life of the infected individual.
The main objective of the OVOSHINE project is to develop a low cost, secure and fast UV system in combination with hot air to sterilise eggs.
The proposed technology provides the following advantages:
• Unlike other treatments, the OVOSHINE system does not increase the temperature of the egg.
• The entire egg shell will be illuminated by highly energetic UV photons that will eliminate the bacteria.
• No chemical products will be used, thus eliminating egg contamination.
• A continuous sterilisation system will be used, to be inserted in the production or packing line, facilitating the installation in existing modern production lines.
• The disinfection process is both fast and of low cost, amounting to a very small contribution to the total egg cost.
Fields of science
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