European Food Research and Technology vol:223 issue:3 pages:303-312
In this preliminary study, the intrinsic fluorescence of thick and thin egg albumens was evaluated as a possible rapid method for the monitoring of egg freshness. The fluorescence emission spectra of tryptophan residues (excitation: 290 nm; emission: 305-430 nm) of proteins and fluorescent Maillard reaction products (excitation: 360; emission: 380-580 nm) were recorded directly on thick and thin albumen samples within 2-3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 12, 16, 18, 23, 25 and 29 days of storage. Principal component analysis (PCA) and factorial discriminant analysis (FDA) were applied to the spectra data sets. Considering tryptophan fluorescence spectra recorded on thick egg albumen, correct classification was observed for 62.8 and 54.3% for the calibration and the validation sets, respectively. Better classification was obtained from thin egg albumen since 67.3 and 69.1% of samples were correctly classified. Considering fluorescent Maillard reaction products, the similarity map determined by the principal components (PCs) 1 and 2 showed a discrimination of eggs as a function of their storage time on both thick and thin albumens. The percentage of samples correctly classified into four groups by the FDA was 97.4 and 91.4% for the calibration and validation thick albumen samples, respectively. It was concluded that fluorescent Maillard reaction products could be considered as fingerprints that may allow the discrimination between fresh and aged eggs.