Effect of Indigenous Knowledge System Based Sun Drying on the Microbiological Quality and Safety of Egg Powders
Although eggs have been successfully dried into powder at industrial level no evidence is available that sun drying or oven drying has been tried on eggs in the rural areas. This article is based on the study, which was conducted in the rural areas of Impendle in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa, determined the level of egg utilisation and the microbiological quality and safety of sun-dried eggs. A sample of eggs was oven-dried at 650 C over a period of three hours. Another sample was sun-dried over a period of 72 hours. The dried egg samples were subjected to microbiological analysis: Salmonella spp., E. coli, Coliforms, Listeria monocytogenes and Total Plate Count. A high percentage (87%) of the survey respondents owned egg laying chickens. About 81% of the respondents indicated that eggs were consumed by the whole family about three times per week. Microbiological analysis results indicated that both egg powder samples had acceptable total microbial load and pathogenic (harmful) micro-organisms were absent. When observed over a period of eight weeks, both sun-dried and oven-dried eggs developed a rancid flavour. The study demonstrated the potential for processing eggs into egg powder in rural areas to improve household food security.