At Last! The Secret to Long-Term Egg Preservation is Revealed
Most people in the United States of America believe that eggs are a quickly perishable item that must be refrigerated – this is not the case. If you have traveled abroad you would know that this is not true and that Americans are the minorities that actually believe this. In this article we are going to discuss how to preserve eggs for the long-term, worry free, while using well known methods. Most of these methods are actually quite easy to do.
The first thing to understand when speaking about preserving eggs for the long term is that nature naturally preserves eggs. When an egg is laid, it is coated with a micro membrane coating known as “bloom”. Bloom is the natural coating that works to protect the egg by repelling oxygen and bacteria.
Here in America the USDA has strict requirements on the cleaning, handling, labeling and selling of eggs. Most other countries do not have these strict rules, and the result is that eggs last for a much more extended period of time. In America, eggs must be thoroughly cleaned before being sold. This process removes the layer of natural bloom that is there to protect the egg. The result is eggs that need to be refrigerated. In other countries, eggs can be sold without having the natural bloom layer removed, thus there is no need for refrigeration. This also extends the shelf life of the egg. An example of this practice is in Brazil. Egg cartons there have two different “expiration dates”. One for room temperature and one for refrigerated.
Is it good?
Without an expiration date, how do you know if an egg is still good or not? Ultimately, the only way to tell if an egg is still good is by cracking it open and taking a look. If it smells bad, it is. If you open the egg and it is brown, then clearly it is bad. There are methods though of weeding out the bad ones before cracking them open:
Put them in cold water. The ones that float are no longer fresh, and the ones that sink to the bottom are good. This method tests how much oxygen the eggs contain. It should be noted that this method is only 60-65% accurate.
Another method is the hearing test. When you shake the egg and you hear nothing, you’ve still got a good egg. If you shake it and hear a splashing sound, it’s gone bad.
When you are cracking open an egg that has been preserved, it is ideal to crack it into a separate bowl from the rest of your egg mixture. If the egg is good, transfer it into the bowl with the rest of the eggs. Using this method will prevent a bad egg from being cracked directly into your mixture.
Long term preservation methods:
This is by far the most popular method for preserving eggs. When done right eggs can last up to a year before going bad. The concept is simple – you are replacing the bloom of the egg with Mineral Oil, which better seals the egg’s shell.
I have seen many people in the comments sections of online forums state that you can use vegetable oil to coat eggs to preserve them. I have not found any reliable sources of this information, so I have yet to try it out. Have you? If so, leave a comment below and let’s discuss!
KePeg was first developed during the Great Depression when refrigeration was not in wide use. KePeg closes the pores of the eggshell not allowing any oxygen into the interior of the egg. This prevents oxidation which makes the eggs go bad. KePeg contains no chemicals and is completely natural. Eggs can be stored for a recommended one year without refrigeration. I suggest using this product on fresh eggs. Read More on KePeg
Water Glass (Sodium Silicate)
Another very popular method is to immerse eggs in a water glass which seals the pores in the egg shells. This method keeps bacteria out and water in. It was very popular during World War II when food rationing was in effect. This can preserve eggs for up to 5 months.
Lime Water Pickling
Eggs with a slight lime taste!? If this sounds interesting to you, then this may be the method for you. Just kidding! I’m not speaking about the citrus lime but rather limestone, the powder. The pH of the water is altered by the lime, so bacteria wouldn’t grow. Instructions & More Information
Pickling and Canning
This is the most popular method of egg preservation. Thousands of people pickle and then can their eggs in the United States every year. Eggs can last for up to 6 months using this method of preservation.
It is important to note that when preserving eggs for the long term, it is safest not to feed them to the young, elderly or people without a strong immune system. Make sure you thoroughly research each method, and take the proper safety precautions, as serious health risks can present themselves when consuming eggs that are not properly preserved.
Safe food handling practices are something everyone should practice – http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsis/topics/food-safety-education