http://fst.sagepub.com Advantages and Limitations on Processing Foods by UV Light
J. A. Guerrero-Beltr·n and G. V. Barbosa-C·novas Food Science and Technology International 2004; 10; 137 DOI: 10.1177/1082013204044359 The online version of this article can be found at: http://fst.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/10/3/137
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Consejo Superior de Investigaciones CientÃ-ficas (Spanish Council for Scientific Research)
Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos (Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology)
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Review: Advantages and Limitations on Processing Foods by UV Light
J.A. Guerrero-Beltrán and G.V. Barbosa-Cánovas*
Department of Biological Systems Engineering, Washington State University, Pullman, WA 99164–6120, USA
Fresh food products can be processed using UV light as a germicidal medium to reduce thefood-borne microbial load. Water has been treated with UV light to obtain drinking water for quite some time. Pumpable fruit and vegetable products are generally very suitable for processing by UV light to reduce the microbial load. Today, most of these products are pasteurised to obtain microbiologically safe and nutritious products. However, pasteurisation can change the taste and ﬂavour of suchproducts because of the temperature and processing time. Juices from different sources can be treated by exposure to UV light at different doses. On the other hand, variables such as ﬂow rate, exposure time, type of fruit product, juice colour and juice composition, among other variables, need to be studied to obtain fruit products with reduced microbial load, increased shelf life and adequatesensory and nutritional characteristics. Reduction of microbial load through UV light application as a disinfection medium for food products other than liquids is also being studied. Moreover, UV technology could be a source for pasteurisation of liquids, or disinfection of solid foods as an alternative technology, instead of thermal treatment or application of antimicrobial compounds. Key Words:Ultraviolet radiation, UV processed food, UV light microbial effects, UV dosage, inactivation, disinfection, food preservation
Non-thermal technologies are being applied in food processing as a viable alternative to thermal processing. They include pulsed electric ﬁelds, ultraviolet light processing, minimal thermal processes and batch or continuous high pressure processing, among manyothers. These alternative technologies can deliver food products without hazardous microorganisms and enzymes that may reduce the nutritional and sensory characteristics of foods, which are often changed when thermal processes are applied (Butz and Tauscher, 2002). Ultraviolet light can be used to inactivate many types of organisms, including viruses, but it is currently known that UV light onlyworks on surfaces or clear liquids such as water. UV light radiation has been used for many years in pharmaceutical, electronic, and aquaculture industries as a disinfection medium (Anonymous, 2002b). A monochromatic UV light (254 nm) is obtained by using low-pressure mercury (LPM) vapour germicidal lamps. The UV light acts as a
physical method for microbial disinfection (Anonymous, 2002b)....