Current State of the Art:
With the increasing specialization of the poultry industry and the continuous advancement of livestock management, we are witnessing an increase of environment-related infection hazard. Simultaneously increasing demands of quality and hygiene in poultry production, especially concerning hatching egg sanitation and the SPF (Specific Pathogen Free) area, create a need for new, effective, environmentally friendly and resource-saving treatment methods. Currently, the most widely used method for surface treatment of hatching eggs is fumigation with formaldehyde (HCHO). Due to the toxic and carcinogenic effects of formaldehyde, this method is controversial. Application bans are being discussed, but due to lack of alternatives, no ban has yet been implemented
The treatment of hatching eggs shells with low-energy accelerated electrons which hit the surface and penetrate into the porous calcareous eggshell. These electrons are generated by means of a special electron beam tube which enables a large-scale treatment of a various number of eggs in one shot. As a result, even invisible, hidden germs can be eradicated while the inside of the egg remains intact and the development of the chick can progress normally.