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Published: 2020-09-07

Page: 21-30


Department of Animal Science, Nasarawa State University, Keffi, Shabu-Lafia Campus, P.M.B. 135, Lafia 950101, Nigeria.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Avian egg cuticle serves as a barrier to movement of particles, water and microorganisms into the egg. It is speculated to be rich in nutrients with antimicrobial characteristics in ovo but, not clear if these characteristics will be exhibited in vitro. The study was aimed at evaluating the antimicrobial activity, mineral and vitamin compositions of Nera Black egg cuticle. Fresh maize cobs were cooked, left overnight and 30 eggs were boiled in the broth for 10 minutes, again left overnight with the eggs completely submerged in the broth. The boiled eggs were carefully removed, rubbed gently with fingers and scraped slightly with knife to harvest the cuticle. Samples of the cuticle were air-dried, processed for mineral, vitamin and microbial sensitivity determination following standard procedures. The results indicated that Nera Black egg cuticle contained calcium (123.7 mg/100 g), phosphorus (313.6 mg/100 g), iron (17.7 mg/100 g), sodium (112.6 mg/100 g), potassium (335.5 mg/100 g) and magnesium (26.4 mg/100 g). Also, zinc (1.12 mg/100 g), copper (0.25 mg/100 g), selenium (0.006 mg/100 g) and manganese (0.205 mg/100 g) were detected in the egg cuticle. More importantly, vitamins A (828.64 µg/100 g), B1 (0.515 mg/100 g), B2 (0.016 mg/100 g), B3 (0.77 mg/100 g), B6 (0.53 mg/100 g), C (1.68 mg/100 g) and E (7.31 µg/100 g) were found in the egg cuticle. Listeria monocytogenes, Enterobacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa and Escherichia coli were resistant to the egg cuticle in vitro. So, avian egg cuticle maybe added to livestock feed to improve the nutritional quality but, may not be suitable as an antimicrobial agent. Nevertheless, in depth investigations on antimicrobial potency of crude and extracted components of avian egg cuticle is pertinent to consolidate earlier reports.

Keywords: Avian egg cuticle, eggshell pigmentation, microbial resistance, Nera Black, poultry feed

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