The effect of pH, processing temperatures, and preheating steps in two commercial egg white pasteurization procedures (Armour and Standard Brands methods) were evaluated using a five-strain cocktail of Salmonella. We devised a benchtop pasteurization system that would more closely resemble the two commercial processes than could the traditional capillary tube method. The pasteurization methods both require hydrogen peroxide to be metered into the egg white stream between a required initial preheat step and the main heating regimen. Both processes were evaluated at three pH levels (pH 8.2, 8.6, 9.0), at four temperatures (51.7°C/125°F, 53.1°C/127.5°F, 54.4°C/130°F, 55.8°C/132.5°F), and over four residence times to allow calculation of D-values at each temperature. When compared at the minimum allowable time and temperatures for each process, our results showed at least a 1-log greater log reduction (P < 0.05) for the Standard Brands method than the Armour method in 10 of 12 of the pH and temperature combinations tested. Almost all runs at any given temperature showed more reduction at pH 9.0 than at pH 8.2 except for the Standard Brands method at 54.4°C and 55.8°C, which showed the most consistent reduction across all three pH levels tested. Analysis of the preheat portion of the two methods showed that there was no contribution (P > 0.05) toward Salmonella reduction when compared with the identical process without the preheating step. We generally observed a greater reduction of Salmonella with egg white at pH 9.0 that is typical of older, off-line processing than with low pH egg white (i.e., 8.2) that is typical of modern in-line processing facilities. This difference was as much as 3.5 log cycles depending on the processing conditions. The data has been used to make recommendations for minimum processing conditions for hydrogen peroxide–based egg white pasteurization.

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