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The difference between flash pasteurisation and UHT

When Eggnation set out to develop and produce a liquid egg white for the UK consumer market we undertook extensive research and testing.

Our primary concern was to produce a high quality product aimed specifically at the health sector where the nutritional value and integrity of the product was of utmost importance. We have many processing options open to us and in fact our commercial arm produce flash pastuerised, ESL,  HTST and UHT products. These products are aimed at different market.

Most main stream research on the effects of pasteurisation our with regard to milk products. This is where our studies began. It became apparent that whilst UHT products were OK for the bakery industry, where they would be exposed to high temperatures we need to develop a process that was in effect minimal. The temperatures and time set were done so as to have minimal effect on the amino and enzyme profile of the egg white, yet being high enough to kill all pathogens (bacteria) and neutralise avidin. Once we had established these we then had our process tested and certified by Campden Food Research a government recognised independent body.

This established that after minimal processing the only way to hold the liquid for both shelf life and to suspend any nutritional degradation was either frozen or chilled. With chilled offering the shortest shelf life.

Below are some of the studies we first referenced before our development and testing process.

A study by AlKanhal (2001) showed that the nutritional quality of the protein in UHT treated milk before storage was similar to that of pastuerised milk (no immediate adverse effect). The study suggested that the Maillard reaction was initiated during the heat treatment and continued during storage to cause degradation of the protein quality. One example of this degradation is a loss of 14% of available lysine (a essential amino acid and a reason to consume protein) during storage. The quality of UHT milk decreased significantly during storage over 3 months. A study by Carbonaro (2000) supports these findings with the conclusion that the in vitro digestibility of the proteins in UHT treated milk was significantly impaired compared to pastuerised milk. AlKanhal (2001) concluded that this reduction in nutritional quality might be significant for children who are solely dependent on milk for their diet.

Milk is a source of folic acid, which is needed for red blood cell development, among other functions. It is estimated that about 10-15% of folate is gained from milk in Western countries. (Forssein, 2000) According to the FDA, pastuerisation has little effect on folic acid content, with less than 10% reduction. (Bren,2004).

Research indicates that UHT sterilization can cause folate losses of up to 50%.

Further reading:

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=vus1aZ1-sCkC&pg=PA152&lpg=PA152&dq=effect+of+uht+process+on+nutritional+value&source=bl&ots=5h1Q5-pLwc&sig=XRbxPO2_fBg2StivA_3WKTdLoyQ&hl=en&ei=8FgeSrTWJIXSjAearMiODQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=9

With regard to shelf life, Eggnation is certified for no biological change for 7 days once defrosted, once opened and kept refrigerated. As an interesting aside you will note that this is much longer shelf life than any UHT process whether patented or not. This is due to the fact that the enzyme profile is kept in tact as well as the amino profile.

Raw egg white has present an element known as lysozyme. Since lysozyme is a natural form of protection from pathogens like Salmonella, E.coli and Pseudomonas, when it is deficient it can lead to increased incidence of disease. This is why our product is as close to raw egg white as you can get with the added advantages of being bacteria free and with out the issue of avidin.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysozyme

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Denaturation_(biochemistry) (denaturing of egg white)