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OvoProtein: Species Survival
We are sometimes amazed – or perhaps we should be – that eggs can stand for weeks or months at room temperature with no sign whatsoever of any microbiological degradation. Eventually an egg would dry out on its own with the internal content remaining genuine, yet crystallizing, when left evaporating in the air.
The biological barrier to invaders is made of mechanical, physical and chemical natures: shell, membranes and albumen structure a gradient of resistance mechanisms to penetration involving capillarity, nanometer scale mesh sieving, viscosity, pH, heparin-type electrostatic binding, protease inhibitors, pore forming peptides (defensins), immunoglobulins, chelating (vitamins & minerals) proteins. Each of these resistance mechanisms synergistically adds to the efficacy of the others in a stacking-like hurdles manner to the extent that any opportunistic visitor will find its way to the embryo a far-too-risky gamble to be attempted at. Such evolutionary established dissuasive approach to species survival is of course most economical on the long term as it does not in turn selectively induce any specific resistance mechanisms. Understanding those in-built mechanisms will help the Egg Industry develop real long shelf life liquid eggs.

Watson RR & De Meester F. Handbook of Eggs in Human Function, Wageningen Academic 2015, ISBN: 978-90-8686-254-2


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