Effect of various refrigeration temperatures on quality of shell eggs

J Sci Food Agric. 2012 May;92(7):1341-5. doi: 10.1002/jsfa.4699. Epub 2011 Nov 14.


Background: The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of low storage temperatures on shell egg quality.

Results: Approximately 2100 shell eggs were collected and stored at - 1.1, 0.6, 2.2, 3.9, 5.6 and 7.2 °C for up to 4 weeks. Eighteen eggs at each storage temperature were evaluated after 0, 2, 7, 14, 21 and 28 days of storage. Haugh units (HU), yolk index (YI), albumen pH (pHA), yolk pH (pHY) and angel food cake density (CD) were measured. Shell egg quality tended to be preserved better at below 2.2 °C, as high HU and YI values relative to eggs stored at 7.2 °C were determined on day 28. However, storage at - 1.1 °C tended to cause the opposite effect, especially highly declined HU values over time. Significantly different HU values of shell eggs were measured after 14 days of storage, with eggs stored at 0.6 and 2.2 °C having the highest HU values, 80.42 and 77.97 respectively.

Conclusion: A lower temperature limit for shell egg storage could be established between 0.6 and 2.2 °C, as both temperatures showed the highest HU values, 77.88 and 77.60 respectively, after 28 days of storage.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Albumins / chemistry
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Diet
  • Egg Yolk*
  • Eggs / analysis*
  • Eggs / standards
  • Food Analysis
  • Food Preservation / methods*
  • Food Storage / methods*
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Refrigeration / methods*


  • Albumins