Egg quality is a general term that relates to various standards that are imposed on eggs. This quality usually embraces a range of quality characteristics such as shell colour, albumen quality amongst others. It is therefore necessary to store eggs properly to avoid or reduce the rate at which the quality declines. Egg quality has also shown to be an influencing factor in hatchability and chick quality in general.
Therefore, studies were conducted to determine the influence of storage temperature, condition and duration on egg quality characteristics, shelf life and blastodermal size.
A total of one hundred and ten eggs were used for two experiments. In the first experiment, a total of 60 table eggs were divided into two treatments of oil and non-oil coating. Eggs (n = 10) for each treatment were stored for either 0, 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10 days at ambient temperature.
A Completely Randomized Design (CRD) in a 2×5 factorial arrangement was used. Experiment two comprised of two treatments of cold storage (18°C) and ambient temperature storage (23-26°C). Fertile eggs under each storage condition were stored for 1, 3, 6, 10 and 14 days.
Parameters measured included proportions of yolk, shell, albumen and blastodermal size. Data was analysed using the SAS Proc. GLM procedure (P<0.05).
The results showed that in Experiment 1, shell thickness was affected by oil preservation. Yolk weight and Haugh unit were significantly affected by storage duration. The Haugh unit decreased as the storage days increased.
In Experiment 2, the egg weights were not affected significantly by storage conditions but were significantly affected by storage duration and interactions between storage condition and storage duration. The blastoderm size decreased significantly in cold temperature compared to ambient temperature and increased significantly as the day of storage increased. In a similar way, the yolk weight increased as the day of storage increased.
Based on the research findings it was concluded that in table eggs egg quality as measured by Haugh unit is not affected by oil preservation but quality decreases with increasing storage duration. In fertile eggs while the blastoderm quality on both dependent on both storage temperature and duration, the egg components of yolk, shell and albumen were much dependent on storage duration.