|range of instruments Eggware software needs to be used. |
Using Eggware sensory observations can be added to the
standard egg quality tests, such as blood spots, meat spots,
odour and yolk colour (if the TSS colorimeter is not used).
The instruments required in addition to the QCM+ and Eggware
software to make the full range of measurements are:
Shell colour - shell
The reflectometer is used to measure shell colour the uniformity
of which is perceived by many consumers as an indication of
overall egg quality. Indeed so important has this trait become
that many retailers now insist that eggs supplied to them have a
specific depth of colour.
The instrument, which is used by many world poultry breeders,
works by taking a percentage reading between black and white
with the former expressed as 0% and the latter pure white
100%. For most world brown egg markets, a reading of 25-40
percent is required. For white eggs an acceptable reading is 75-
Results expressed in a world standard form, can be displayed
on the instrument itself or on the microprocessor. Calibration
takes less than a minute.
The head of the instrument is ergonomically shaped and, being
made from anodised aluminium, is very light and easy to
handle. A stainless steel, non-wearing insert where the egg is
presented to the instrument ensures optimum accuracy and
Egg and shell weight
Digital balance with
As with the reflectometer, the balance can be used as a stand
alone instrument or linked to the microprocessor for the
automatic calculation of Haugh Unit values with the QCM+
It is used to weigh both the whole egg and the dried shells to an
accuracy of 0.1g and is quick and easy to use. A stainless steel
tray holds the egg in place while it is being weighed and if
required a battery can be fitted to allow the instrument to be
used away from the mains electrical supply.
The balance is fitted with a RS232 serial interface and is
supplied complete with its own mains power supply unit and
400g calibration mass
Calculated within system on the input of whole egg weigh and
dried shell weight.
This is automatically calculated within the system on the input of
egg weight and albumen height.
Albumen height (mm)
albumen height gauge
Electronic height gauge for measuring albumen height
One of the most important characteristics of egg quality,
albumen height can be measured to an accuracy of 0.1mm,
in a mere fraction of a second, using a unique
Simply break out the egg, push down the sharp-pointed probe
(considerably more accurate than probes with blunt ends)
and the operation is completed.
The higher the albumen height, the better the albumen
quality. The height can vary from as low as 1.5mm in stale
eggs of poor quality to 12mm in good quality fresh eggs.
Generally the younger the bird, producing a newly laid egg,
the higher the albumen height.
Manufactured entirely from food grade stainless steel, the
height gauge requires no maintenance, it's very easy to keep
clean, and can be calibrated in a matter of seconds. It is used
world-wide as a proven industry standard.
Shell thickness -
Shell thickness is almost entirely dependant on breed, feed
and the age of the bird -- it is important to have a strong shell
in order to minimise the number of second quality eggs.
The micrometer electronically measures the thickness of the
shell in microns with the results being entered into the test. It
can be used as a stand alone instrument or linked to the
The instruments are very easy to use simply place the shell
between the two spherical ball ends of the micrometer and
screw up the ratchet wheel -- the reading when the ratchet
sounds is the shell thickness measurement is displayed in
Yolk colour -
The colorimeter is an in-line electronic instrument to
objectively measure yolk colour. Results are expressed in a
worldwide recognised standard (Roche) and it is widely used
by egg packers, processors and researchers.
The instrument measures the ratio of red, green and blue
light reflected from the yolk -- either whole or broken -- when
illuminated by a flashed white light and compares these
values with known percentages of the 15 colours in the
Roche fan which are preprogrammed into the Colorimeter.
The Colorimeter is automatically calibrated before use and its
performance can be checked by reference to the Roche fan
that is supplied with each instrument.
In use the colorimeter is connected via the QCBi to the
microprocessor and if required, the full range of TSS range of
The yolk colour test can be made individually or as part of a
full quality control test. A destructive test of about 30 eggs per
test/flock is sufficient to give a meaningful result.
As outlined earlier, after measuring the albumen height on
the glass table, the broken out egg is swept down a chute to
the sample cup where the albumen is separated from the
A single key stroke measures the yolk colour, with the result
being displayed on the microprocessor. When the reading is
accepted, the yolk is automatically tipped from the cup in
readiness for the next sample measurement.