About this Research Topic
The world generates over 70 million metric tons of table eggs annually. The eggshell membrane (ESM) is associated with the eggshell (ES) and is available as a by-product of the food industry. The ES is composed mainly of CaCO3 arranged as a calcite crystal, while ESM is a naturally occurring proteinaceous polymer (~500 proteins). The ESM contains the internal egg content and plays a critical role in the formation of the ES by providing the structural support upon which biomineralization occurs. The shell and membrane together constitute about 10% of egg weight. The unique characteristics and abundance of ES and ESM make them promising biomaterials to be exploited for various biotechnological applications.
Around 70 million metric tons of chicken eggs are produced annually for human consumption worldwide. About 30% of shell eggs (21 million metric tons) are diverted to breaker processing plants that generate high quantities of eggshell (ES) and eggshell membrane (ESM) waste (~2 million metric tons). This industrial by-product is still disposed of in landfills without any pretreatment and the costs associated with disposal of egg waste will climb with landfill tax inflation. Together, ES and ESM contain around 1000 proteins with vast functionalities and are considered promising biomaterials. ES and ESM have already been used for various physical, chemical, biological, and medical applications. However, they are still an under-exploited biomaterial. The goal of this Research Topic is to create valuable technological applications using the byproducts of the egg industry.
This Research Topic welcomes Original Research, Review articles, Short Reports, Case Studies, and Methodologies on fundamental studies as a guide to novel or superior ES and ESM based biomaterial design/engineering, and on the topics of biotechnological and bioengineering applications of ES and ESM byproducts for biomedical, chemical, and physical technologies (as broken down in detail below).
· Biomedical technologies: Guided Tissue Regeneration (GTR), anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antioxidant application along with cosmetics and food supplements.
· Chemical technologies: Adsorption, bioremediation, chemical processing support, catalysis, and construction.
· Physical technologies: Biosensors, Electrochemical cells, nano-texturing, and 3D technologies.
Keywords: Egg, Eggshell, Eggshell Membrane, Biomaterial, Bioengineering
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