Microbial Quality of Industrial Liquid Egg White: Assumptions on Spoiling Issues in Egg-Based Chilled Desserts
Sophie Jan and
Equipe Microbiologie de l'Oeuf et des Ovoproduits (Micov), UMR1253 Science et Technologie du Lait et de l’Œuf, Agrocampus Ouest, INRA, Rennes, France.
As a 1st step, this study aimed at investigating the microbial quality of liquid egg white in a French egg processing company. Thirty raw and 33 pasteurized liquid egg white samples were analyzed. Pasteurization was globally found efficient on mesophilic contaminants (1.7 ± 1.6 and 0.8 ± 0.9 log CFU/mL in raw and pasteurized samples, respectively), including for the control of Salmonella. However, Gram-positive enterococci were still detected in the pasteurized samples. As a 2nd step, a representative bacterial collection was built for exploring the spoilage issue in egg-based chilled desserts. Custard cream was chosen as growth medium since this food is widely used for the production of French chilled desserts. All of the 166 isolates of the bacterial collection were shown to be able to grow and to induce spoilage of the custard cream at refrigeration temperature (10°C). Several spoilage types were highlighted in the custard cream, on the basis of changes regarding pH, consistency, production of holes or gas. As a 3rd step, bacterial enzymatic activities were explored on custard cream-based agar media. The bacterial collection was reduced to 43 isolates, based on further selection regarding the genera and the spoilage types previously highlighted. Albeit to different degrees, all these isolates were able to produce proteases. A large part of these isolates also expressed lipolytic and amylolytic activities. This study emphasizes the need to control egg white contamination and especially with Gram-positive heat-resistant Enterococi, in order to guarantee the shelf life of egg-based chilled desserts.
Keywords: bacterial contamination;
liquid egg white;