Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Food, Nutrition, and Culinary Science

Committee Chair/Advisor

Dr. Julie Northcutt

Committee Member

Dr. Paul Dawson

Committee Member

Dr. Doug Smith


The quality and microbiological characteristics of quail eggs were evaluated after eggs were pickled in different vinegar brine solutions. Pickling food in vinegar is one of the oldest preservation methods; however, little research has been conducted on pickled quail eggs. Commercial quail eggs obtained from a local producer were boiled, peeled, and placed into various pickling solutions and held for 24 or 48 hours at room temperature. After the holding period, eggs were removed from the solutions, weighed, and tested for pH, water activity, texture, and color. A second experiment was conducted to determine the effects of various pickling solutions on quail egg microbiology. Eggs were boiled, peeled and then inoculated with 0.1 mL of a mixed culture containing 106 to 108 cells per mL of generic Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and nalidixic acid-resistant Salmonella Typhimurium. After inoculation and a 30 minute waiting period, eggs were placed into various vinegar brine solutions or control treatments and held at room temperature for 24 hours. Pickling in accordance with food safety regulations, provides a nutritious, shelf-stable product. If pickled eggs are inadequately processed, there is a risk of Clostridium botulinum toxin, but if they are boiled too long, a rubbery, extra-firm, and undesirable texture may occur. Results revealed that weight and texture changes due to pickling did not adversely effect quailty; water activity was consistent across time and treatment types; pH was below 4.6, in all components of the egg, after 24 hours in pickling brine and there was no significant change at 48 hours; the color of pickled quail egg yolks after 24 hours became lighter and less yellow, while albumen colors increased in greenness and yellowness. Microbiological data showed that the commercial brine solutions reduced pathogenic growth below detection limits. Therefore, leading to the conclusion that a combination of thermal process and acidification did reduce pathogenic growth to safe levels.

Included in

Food Science Commons



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