Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Quality and Safety Assessment Research Unit

Title: Dielectric Study of Storage Effects on Quality Attributes of Eggs

item Nelson, Stuart

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: April 15, 2009
Publication Date: June 1, 2009
Citation: Proceeding of the 8th International Conference on Electromagnetic Wave Interaction with Water and Moist Substances (ISEMA 2009). Dielectric Study of Storage Effects on Quality Attributes of Eggs. Meeting Proceedings. Trabelsi, S., Nelson, S.O., Jones, D.R. 2009. pp. 379-382.

Interpretive Summary: The electrical characteristics of agricultural products known as dielectric properties can be useful for rapidly and nondestructively sensing some quality attributes such as moisture content. The dielectric properties of foods are also useful in dielectric or microwave heating applications in the food industry. Some dielectric properties of eggs have been studied in connection with microwave heating for cooking or processing eggs. However, the dielectric properties of eggs have not been explored for purposes of sensing quality. Therefore, some basic measurements were conducted to determine the dielectric properties of egg yolk in the frequency range from 200 to 2000 MHz and to learn what changes in dielectric properties might occur in eggs during storage for 5 weeks at temperatures of 4 and 15 degrees C. The measurements were taken both with an open coaxial-line sensing probe in contact with the external membrane of the intact egg yolk and with the probe immersed in the egg yolk after the external membrane was removed. Results showed that differences in dielectric properties due to storage were greater for measurements on the liquid yolk than for measurements on the membrane of the intact egg yolk. Thus, results indicated some potential for future use of dielectric measurement techniques for rapid assessment of egg quality. Further research is needed to assess the dielectric properties of eggs for potential use in nondestructive quality sensing for benefit of producers and consumers.

Technical Abstract: Effect of storage temperature on the dielectric properties of egg yolk was studied over a 5-week period. The eggs were stored at 4 oC and 15 oC. Each week, the dielectric properties of egg yolk were measured with an open-ended probe at 24 oC between 200 MHz and 20 GHz. The measurements were performed first for the egg yolk enveloped in the vitelline membrane and then for the egg yolk without it. Results indicate that dielectric properties of the egg yolk with the vitelline membrane are greater than those without membrane and that the effect of storage temperature is more pronounced for the egg yolk without membrane.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page