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ORKA Instruments Measure Egg Quality

21 December 2011, at 8:35am

US - Instruments manufactured by ORKA Food Technology are gaining world market share based on their versatility, cost and reliability.

The current range comprises:

  • The Egg Analyzer; this instrument determines the weight of eggs, albumen height, Haugh units, yolk colour and USDA grade for routine quality control and regulatory compliance;

  • The Egg Force Reader; this device measures the force required to crush a shell and is a direct measure of marketability;

  • The Egg Shell Thickness Gauge; this instrument uses ultrasound to measure the thickness of shells for quality control and research applications.

The ORKA range of instruments is used extensively in QC laboratories operated by egg producers, packers, universities, regulatory authorities, and primary breeders.

Egg Analyzer™

This instrument electronically determines egg weight, albumen height and yolk colour. Haugh units are automatically calculated from the measurements made and results are highly correlated to traditional manual instruments. Data is displayed on a screen and printed on a strip and can be transmitted to a PC to be entered into a computerized database using proprietary software. The assay cycle for each egg is completed within 20 seconds. Albumen height can be measured from 0 to 30 mm and Haugh units are expressed on a scale of 0 to 130. Yolk color range corresponds to the DSM scale from 1 through 15 units.

The Egg Analyzer™ has been used for a number of years by a leading producer of specialty eggs to control quality. Determination of Haugh units is an indication of compliance with required age of eggs, storage and handling with specific reference to refrigeration. Yolk color is monitored as this parameter is a significant consumer attribute. Due to perioxidation, xanthoyphyll content of corn declines progressively during storage after the Fall harvest. Successive assays from various production regions document the effect of the time-related waning in intensity of colour. To maintain an acceptable appearance of the yolk, decisions can be made as to the quantity of supplemental xanthoyphyll which must be added to layer diets to maintain the required standard of colour.

Reference to the database confirms the trends in yolk intensity from specific flocks and allows nutritionists to select appropriate levels of supplementation to optimise colour at minimal cost. Given the current low availability and high cost of xanthoypyll pigments derived from marigold petals, the accuracy, consistency and reliability of the Egg Analyzer™ is an important aid in maintaining quality and reducing cost of attaining acceptable intensity of yolk colour.

Studies on the shell breaking force through the life time of the flock can be correlated to downgrades and hence marketable eggs. With the age-related decline in shell quality it is possible to predict an increase in downgrades for a specific flock.

This facilitates preemptive corrective action including supplementing diets with bioplexed (organic) manganese, zinc and copper and adjusting calcium and available phosphorus content of diets. A large producer in the US regularly screens flocks and applies the data to assign specific age groups to branded specialty eggs which require a high standard for shell strength.

Egg Shell Thickness Gauge

This ultrasonic instrument can measure thickness at various points on the shell without resorting to the traditional time-consuming method of breaking the egg and measuring individual segments. Thickness can be measured over a range of 0.15 mm to 25 mm with a sensitivity of 0.001 mm. The instrument has a serial output to export data to a PC. The Egg Thickness Gauge is powered by batteries and is field deployable with the instrument and accessories housed in a foam-lined carrying case.

All ORKA instruments carry a warranty and their modular construction allows for replacement of critical components in the unlikely event of failure.

ORKA will participate in International Poultry Expo 2012 at Atlanta, GA, USA during January 24-26, 2012 and you may see a real-time demo at the booth (booth 2149).

For further details, access ORKA's web site.