Food and bioprocess technology vol:1 issue:4 pages:346-356
A total of 207 intact brown-shelled eggs of the same flock (29 weeks of age) belonging to two treatment groups were stored in daylight at 12.2 degrees C and 87% relative humidity (RH): (1) 108 eggs and (2) 99 other eggs were kept in an atmosphere containing 2 and 4.6% of CO2, respectively. The 18 remaining eggs have also been analysed directly when they were available in our laboratory to check the degree of freshness (aged of 1 day or less). Eggs of the two groups were analysed after 6, 8, 12, 15, 20, 22, 26, 29, 33, 40, 47 and 55 days of storage using front face fluorescence spectroscopy. The emission fluorescence spectra of aromatic amino acids and nucleic acids (AAA+NA; excitation, 250 nm; emission, 280-450 nm), fluorescent Maillard reaction products (excitation, 360 nm; emission, 380-580 nm) and the excitation spectra of vitamin A (emission, 410 nm; excitation, 270-350 nm) were scanned on thick albumen and egg yolk. For each treatment, the principal component analysis applied on the vitamin A fluorescence spectra allowed a good discrimination of eggs according to both their storage time and conditions, while more overlapping between egg samples was observed when the other intrinsic probes were investigated. These results showed that vitamin A fluorescence spectra could be considered as a good indicator of egg freshness kept only in 2% of CO2.