Not as catchy perhaps as “Jack and the Beanstalk,” or “Beauty and the Beast,” but the relationship between biosecurity and the egg supply is of vital importance to egg farmers and the food manufacturing industry. It’s no fairy tale either, but based on thorough investigation, sound science and hard work.
Eggs are in ample supply, mostly due to the hard work of egg farmers to recover as quickly as possible from the devastating effects of avian influenza in the spring of 2015. In fact, the industry recovered more quickly than projected by initial estimates.
Thorough investigation after AI yielded new measures recommended for egg farmers, based on sound scientific principles. Biosecurity is always a priority on U.S. egg farms and egg farmers are focused on taking all needed steps to protect their flocks. In response to the viral outbreak, U.S. egg farmers, together with turkey and chicken producers, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and other authorities, have heightened measures on the farm to limit the spread of avian influenza. Comprehensive biosecurity practices on commercial egg farms include, but are not limited to, restricting farm access, preventing hens from exposure to wild and migratory birds, increasing veterinary monitoring of flocks and using protective gear at all times.
USDA offers a comprehensive HPAI Biosecurity checklist for the sound start to a stringent biosecurity plan that includes processes to safeguard the premises and proper practices regarding equipment handling, personnel, visitors and vehicles that travel to or between individual farms.
The ample supply of eggs and egg ingredients in all forms give formulators the opportunity to stretch their creative imagination for new and proven applications. In addition, eggs fit any dining trend. The six grams of high-quality protein, contained in any single, large egg, makes them the perfect component for a protein pack or salad kit in the fresh aisle or “grocerant.” Pre-peeled hard-boiled eggs, available from some egg suppliers, make it easy to incorporate eggs into these applications.
Egg ingredients’ functional properties provide a functional powerhouse for clean label products from appetizers through dessert and any category in between. And as a further measure to protect the public and provide peace of mind, all further processed egg ingredients are pasteurized, for food safety.
The egg and egg ingredients—their functional properties and nutritional value make them a fairy tale come true for formulators when the facts bear out the promotion.