USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation announce the completion of a funded research project at the University of Ottawa in Ontario, Canada, in which researchers demonstrated the importance of eggshell cuticle plugs. The research was made possible in part by an endowing Foundation gift from Midwest Poultry Services and is part of the Association’s comprehensive research program encompassing all phases of poultry and egg production and processing. A brief summary of the completed project is shown below. A complete report, along with information on other Association research, may be obtained by going to USPOULTRY’s website, www.uspoultry.org. The project summary is as follows.
Project #F070: Genetic Modulation of the Antimicrobial Properties of the Egg Shell Cuticle Pore Plug
(Dr. Maxwell Hincke, University of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada)
Dr. Maxwell Hincke and colleagues at the University of Ottawa recently completed a research project in which they studied the properties of the plug which fills the respiratory pores of eggshells. These plugs are very important for preventing the entry of harmful bacteria into the eggs. They found that these plugs remain intact following the commercial egg washing process in both white and brown eggs. The plugs appear to be chemically similar to the eggshell cuticle and likely contain antimicrobial proteins found in the cuticle. One of these proteins was successfully produced and purified, and its antimicrobial activity is being evaluated.