The chemical disinfection of the shell surface of previously cleaned eggs is a great way to control contamination by fungi, bacteria and other microorganisms.
Whereas each chemical has unique properties that are peculiar, the use of these, however, should not be made without prior knowledge of its effects. It is important to note that for the disinfectant to achieve more effectiveness, one should consider several factors. Among them, pH, temperature and humidity.
Because it disinfects products that have direct contact with the environment and humans, the disinfectant compound must act on a wide spectrum with the lowest possible toxicity rate for the disinfection of eggs.
Although some farms and commercial hatcheries still use formaldehyde and paraformol as disinfecting agents, due to their great effectiveness in the control of microorganisms, these substances are considered carcinogenic by the WHO.
Formaldehyde is a substance composed of formaldehyde diluted in water. Although highly carcinogenic, the organic compound is commonly used in the disinfection of products, in preservatives, in the manufacture of synthetic resins, inks, polymers, glasses, and other materials.
The formaldehyde and water solution has the property of denaturing proteins, so they are more resistant to breakdown by bacteria. This property justifies its use as an embalming fluid, and in the conservation of biological species.
One of the main risks of handle of formaldehyde by humans is the pharyngeal cancer. Because the solution is volatile, gases can be inhaled and cause damage to the nasal passages.
The quality of eggs is directly related to several factors such as water quality during processing, cleaning of facilities and equipment, integrated pest control, good manufacturing practices among others. The disinfection of eggs decreases diseases, animal waste, drug costs and labor, thus increasing productivity.
Since 2009, ANVISA has been warning about the risk of ongoing management of formaldehyde and it has banned its sale (37% solution) to the population in commercial establishments.
In the case of use in agriculture, besides the risk in handling, formaldehyde, when used during the cleaning of the eggs, may be deposited in their pores. This residual substance on the surface protects the egg from microorganisms. On the other hand, it remains throughout the entire production chain.
Besides formaldehyde, there are other chemicals that can be considered disinfectants in the process of disinfection of eggs, such as quaternary ammonium, which are effective against bacteria, but not as recommended for spores and viruses. Phenols are good germicidal with broad-spectrum, low toxicity and its performance is not affected by the presence of organic matter. Iodates have excellent germicidal action and also denatures the proteins of microorganisms, thereby protecting eggs from contamination.
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