Proteomic measures of albumen degradation as indicators of egg freshness


The project would initially investigate the progression of the proteomic changes in the egg albumin associated with deterioration in egg freshness and then evaluate the affects stress has on albumen quality


Dr Jeff Downing, Dr Paul Sheehy

Research Location

Faculty of Veterinary Science

Program Type



Providing high quality eggs and egg products is crucial to the sustainable economic viability of the Australian egg industry. Currently, the main measures of egg freshness are based on determining physical attributes of egg albumen. These have included Haugh units (HU), albumen and yolk height, pH changes and various ratios of albumen and yolk. To a large degree most are related to the thinning of the albumen and are evident some time after lay. The thinning involves changes in the protein structure of the albumen and this begins immediately after lay. Investigating the changes in proteins found in egg albumen, also termed the egg albumen proteome should provide a more precise measure of egg freshness and at a much earlier timeframe. The methodology to be utilised is well established (proteomic analysis utilising 2-Dimensional polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (2D PAGE), and is an approach that can leverage published investigations of chicken egg albumen to expedite the establishment of validated biomarkers of egg freshness. Subsequent to this development phase, initial pilot experiments assessing the influence of time and temperature of storage will be undertaken to both link proteomic analysis with tradition HU measurements and also situate the methodology in the literature as a means of ensuring the developed techniques are robust and informative. 

Additional Information

This project is funded by the Poultry CRC and the successful student would be encouraged to apply for a Poultry CRC post graduate scholarship. Applicants for CRC scholarships need to be Australian citizens or have permanent residency. Ideally, the student would enroll in semester 2 of 2013 as the starting date for their studies.

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Proteomic; albumen, egg, yolk

Opportunity ID

The opportunity ID for this research opportunity is: 1727

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