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Aquionics UV Disinfection Changing the Beverage, Brewing, and Food Production Industry

Introduction

In food and beverage production, microbial disinfection is indispensable. Viruses, bacteria, and other sources of disease threaten consumers' health and harm the taste, shelf-life, and color of food. As an alternative to chemical methods of disinfection, many producers have turned to ultraviolet (UV) light, which eradicates microbes and other sources of spoilage. Compared to chemical methods, UV disinfection from Aquionics requires little effort and does little damage to the environment.

The UV Disinfection Process

UV refers to radiation falling between 185 and 400nm on the electromagnetic spectrum. Such radiation kills germs by compromising their DNA. Microbes such as Legionella, Cryptosporidium, and Listeria are particularly sensitive to UV disinfection.

The disinfection process involves placing a UV lamp in a quartz sleeve within a steel cylinder, and then running liquid through it. This purifies sugar syrups, beverages, and filtered water.

Advantages of the UV Method

UV disinfection has no effect on the smell, acidity, taste, or composition of the materials it cleans. It can be used as either the main method of water purification or as a backup if other methods fail. There are no after effects of UV disinfection, so it can be performed immediately prior to use, reducing the risk that the liquid will be contaminated after treatment.

Using UV in the Beverage, Brewing and Food Industries

  • Cleaning Direct Contact Water- All water, whether from private sources or municipal utilities, should be treated before it is consumed or used as an ingredient. UV disinfection eliminates the need for pasteurization and chemicals in the cleaning process, and allows process water to be reused indefinitely.
  • Purifying Rinse Water- Water that is used to clean things should not contaminate them. Automated UV systems can be incorporated into rinse cycles to make sure that the rinsing does not cause contamination.
  • Disinfecting Filters- Common methods of filtering water often act as breeding grounds for bacteria. UV has been used for years to disinfect water filters, helping eliminate this problem.
  • Removing Chlorine- Industries often use granular activated carbon, or GAC, filters to remove chlorine from process water, but GAC harbors bacteria which can lead to microbial contamination problems.  UV is a cost effective alternative to GAC for dechlorinating water and in addition, UV provides the added benefit of disinfection.
  • Protecting Food- UV lights can help protect dairy and meat products from the contamination

    that often occurs during processing.

  • Sanitizing Syrup- Although high concentrations of sugar protect most syrups from contamination, syrups often grow microbes once diluted with water. Disinfecting both the syrup and the water ahead of time can prevent this.
  • Saving Sweeteners- Liquid sweeteners often breed bacteria, but UV disinfection keeps them safe.
  • Disinfecting Dairy- The FDA recognizes UV disinfection as a legitimate alternative to pasteurization of process water, and many dairy companies have found it more efficient and cost-effective.
  • Processing Brine- UV disinfection hampers microbial growth on brine, reducing costs and preserving the product without affecting its taste.
  • Preserving Deaerated Liquor- Liquor that is mixed directly with beer must be purified of gram-negative bacteria, which change the beer's pH levels and flavor.
  • Preparing Yeast- UV disinfection kills yeast and yeast spores, protecting breweries from altered fermentation, surface membranes, and hazes on their beer.
  • Restoring Wastewater- The runoff from beverage, brewing, and food facilities must be treated in a way that does not damage the environment. UV disinfection allows brewers to do this while simultaneously reducing the amount of wastewater produced.

UV Disinfection for Bottled Water

Typically, bottled water producers purify their product with ozone, but in recent years, Aquionics and it’s sister company Hanovia have been using UV systems instead. They have done this for a variety of reasons, including a desire to reduce byproducts of ozone treatment, such as bromate.  The demand for UV disinfection methods continues to rise as increasing numbers of companies seek to avoid the problems associated with ozone treatment.

Spring water naturally produces bromide, which is harmless in and of itself. When it comes into contact with ozone, however, bromide changes into bromate, which can be harmful to consumers. According to the World Health Organization, bromate is a carcinogen, and healthy adults should consume no more than .01 milligrams of it per liter.

Cost Effective Water Disinfection

It can be difficult for beverage and food companies to meet strict health and hygiene standards while still maintaining profitability. UV methods from Aquionics are a cost-effective way of disinfecting water for the sanitary processing industry, helping companies avoid having to choose between the health of their customers and their own profitability. 

If you are interested in finding out how Aquionics UV methods can help increase profitability and decrease chemical waste in your food manufacturing process, contact your Rodem representative or go to Aquionics.com to learn more.

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