Published in Journal of Applied Packaging Research, Volume 2, Issue 1, September 1, 2007, pages 45-59. Copyright © 2007 DEStech Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.
In their journey from the laying cage to shipments out of an egg production operation, table eggs encounter multiple shock events. While all agricultural commodities run the possibility of damage during the course of production, shell eggs are particularly susceptible to being cracked or broken during the production operation. A typical egg production facility experiences 2% to 7% checks (a partial mechanical failure to the egg shell) during handling, packaging and transportation of shell eggs. It has been estimated that the total losses to the U.S. egg industry due to checks and breakage of eggs during production amounts to over $247 million per year. Research was conducted using a data recorder at Cal Poly Eggs (San Luis Obispo, California) to evaluate shocks sustained by the eggs going through the production operation. The production line for this operation resembles a typical commercial egg production facility. This study evaluated shock levels sustained by the eggs going through a typical production operation. The results and recommendations to help decrease damage due to shocks are presented in this paper. This data can be used to improve production lines at any egg production facility to decrease the amount of checks or breakage and to increase the profits.