Waterborne micro-organisms are responsible for adverse effects on flavour, colour, odour and shelf life of products and, of course, potential health risks to consumers. A number of emerging pathogens, like Cryptosporidium and Giardia are highly resistant to conventional chemical disinfection. As a result, the food and beverage industry is tightening its already stringent microbiological safety and quality standards for process water, product water and sugar solutions. To avoid the changes in product quality that chemical additives can produce, and to respond to consumer demands for reductions in additives and preservatives, food and beverage manufacturers are looking for alternative techniques to protect their products from bacterial damage. For those products that can tolerate the temperature, pasteurisation may be an option, however rising energy costs and space restrictions have led many manufacturers to look to UV treatment as a low energy, small footprint, and chemical-free technology. Unlike chemicals, UV treatment does not introduce any residual agents or by products into the liquid and will not change the organoleptic properties of a product, whilst protecting against a wide range of micro-organisms including thermophilic spores that are tolerant to pasteurisation.
UV treatmenthas a long history in pharmaceutical and drinking water disinfection where it has been proven that 254nm UVC light, at the correct and consistent dosage, inactivates the whole range of spoilage microorganisms â viruses, bacteria, moulds and protozoans â even chemically resistant ones including thermophilic bacteria which are resistant to pasteurisation. UV systems are entirely chemical-free, low maintenance and cost-effective, and can achieve a 99.99% reduction in microorganisms in a single pass, making them suitable for a range of process applications, from CIP rinsing to liquid sugar treatment. atg UV Technology has developed a range of UV disinfection units to meet the needs of the food and beverage industry.