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Advances in Ultraviolet Light Technology for Non-thermal Processing of Liquid Foods.

Koutchma, T. (2009). "Advances in Ultraviolet Light Technology for Non-thermal Processing of Liquid Foods.", Food and Bioprocess Technology, 2(2), pp. 138-155. doi : 10.1007/s11947-008-0178-3  Access to full text


A negative, public reaction is growing over the addition of chemical preservatives to liquid foods and beverages to extend their shelf life and to protect against foodborne pathogens. As a physical method, ultraviolet light (UV) irradiation has a positive consumer image and is of interest to the food industry as a low cost non-thermal method of preservation. Recent advances in the science and engineering of UV light irradiation have demonstrated that this technology holds considerable promise as an alternative to traditional thermal pasteurization for liquid foods and ingredients, fresh juices, soft drinks, and beverages. However, its use for treating foods is still limited due to low UV transmittance of liquid foods. The goal of this review is to provide a summary of the basic principles of UV light generation and propagation with emphasis on its applications for liquid food processing. The review includes information on critical product and process factors that affect UV light inactivation and consequently the delivery of a required scheduled process in liquids foods; measuring and modeling of UV inactivation, and the important effects of UV light on overall quality and nutritional value of liquid foods. The commercially available UV light sources and UV reactor designs that were used for liquid foods treatment are reviewed. The research priorities and challenges that need to be addressed for the successful development of UV technology for liquid foods treatment are discussed.

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