Russia wants to move beyond achieving self-sufficiency in chicken and eggs to become an exporter of poultry products, the president of the Russian Poultry Union has told an international poultry panel convened in Germany at the time of the EuroTier 2010 exhibition.

One of the first signs of that ambition is likely to be the development of more facilities to process eggs, so increasing the country’s potential to take a share of the fast-growing international market for egg powder and related products.

Currently, only four major enterprises in Russia have capacity for processing at least one million eggs per day, said RPU president Vladimir Fisinin when addressing the global poultry outlook panel discussion arranged by the European Poultry Club in association with industry associations from Russia, China and the European Union. However, Prof. Fisinin added, plans have been prepared to build 20 new egg processing plants in the near future, each capable of dealing with over one million eggs daily.

“We lag behind other countries in our capacity for processing eggs,” he commented. “At present, only 12%-13% of our egg production goes into liquid pasteurized egg products and dry egg powder.”

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By 2012, he revealed, the expectation in Russia is that national production of eggs in will rise by about 5% to 43 billion per year. The Russian Poultry Union projects that this output could grow to about 50 billion eggs per year by 2020.

Extra productivity will provide part of the increase, he suggested. The average number of eggs per hen nationally has risen already from 302 in 2005 to 304 in 2009, with the best producers now averaging in the range of 325-330 eggs per hen. A parallel rise has occurred for the volume of enriched eggs, until some 15.5% of production today involving eggs with enrichments such as for omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and iodine.

Functional foods represent one of the most effective ways of addressing health problems in humans, such as from a subclinical iodine deficiency, Prof. Fisinin continued. Russian researchers have patented eggs in which the iodine content is 1.5 times as much as in standard eggs. Experimentally, they have also produced broiler chickens containing 25%-30% more iodine in the breast and leg meat.