This process heats the egg at a temperature which kills harmful bacteria and viruses, like Salmonella and avian flu virus. But, at the same time, it makes sure that the egg does not get cooked. This is done with the help of hi-tech machinery, where the heat and duration of the heat are fine-tuned to perfection. Dr. James Cox and R.W. Duffy Cox started developing methods for pasteurization of eggs in the mid-1980s. Dr. James Cox later filed a US patent for his exceptional method for pasteurizing shell eggs. The US FDA has deemed regular shell eggs as hazardous food, and does not recommend citizens to eat the raw variety as it might include foodborne diseases like avian flu, commonly known as bird flu. The process of pasteurization destroys harmful bacteria and viruses inside and outside the shell, along with increasing the shelf life of the egg.
These eggs are available in most supermarkets. They are found under the label 'pasteurized'; there are different types that a consumer can buy. In many places, you also get egg whites that have undergone this process. States such as California, Wisconsin, Michigan, Iowa, and Illinois adhere to the US FDA food code, which states that the sterilized type should be used instead of raw eggs. They can be identified with a stamp on the packaging that has the letter 'P' in a red circle.
Sterilized eggs taste the same as normal eggs, and also seem to maintain their nutritional qualities. Recent studies conducted have confirmed that there is no change in the taste. The North Carolina State University also states that there is no difference between the nutritional quality. Eggs contain many nutrients like proteins, vitamins, minerals, and fat, and all these are retained even after pasteurization. The nutrition chart of an egg which has undergone pasteurization is given below.
Where to Use
It is recommended to use only sterilized eggs in recipes that involve the use of raw eggs. Cold soufflés, mousse, chiffons, and mayonnaise should be prepared using these eggs. High-risk age groups with low immunity, like children and elderly people, should only be served these eggs to decrease the possibility of foodborne diseases. Salmonella enteritides, one of the bacteria found inside shell eggs which causes food poisoning, is destroyed with the help of pasteurization.
Egg recipes have always been tasty, and now with pasteurized eggs becoming readily available, they will be healthy as well. After all, 'Health is Wealth', and using these eggs will ensure that you and your family continue to stay healthy.