UV light food sterilization is a process referred to as irradiation, which in spite of the term, does not add radiation to food or make food radioactive in any way. Food irradiation is a completely safe process of sterilizing food with UV lamps which are designed to emit wavelengths in the UVC range. UV light is divided into three areas:
- UVA – longest wavelength of 320 to 400 nanometers (nm)
- UVB – wavelengths in the range of 280 to 320 nm
- UVC – shortest wavelengths measuring between 100 to 280 nm
UVC light in the range of 254 nanometer specifically, is proven to quickly eliminate harmful germs including many bacteria and viruses. UVC lamps can be found in many germicidal applications such as surface sterilization, air purification and water disinfection processes. UV light is widely used in the food and beverage processing and packing industry to eliminate harmful microorganisms in a variety of applications.
UV Light Aids Many Food Sterilization Applications
UV light is used in many food industry applications as it is completely safe, low maintenance and does not require the use of any chemicals or pesticides. UV lamps can effectively eliminate viruses like E. Coli and Salmonella as well as many other microbes which cause food to spoil. UVC germicidal lamps also prevent bug infestations in fruit and vegetables and help to prevent imported fruit from bringing insects into the country. Germicidal UVC lamps are proven to eliminate many viruses and bacteria, molds and spores as well as fungi and yeasts. The FDA approved the use of food irradiation beginning in 1963 for the treatment of yeast and flours to prevent insect contamination. Today, the USDA and FDA regulate food sterilization with UV light on many products including raw poultry, red meats, fruits and vegetables, yeasts and flours and many beverage processing plants for juices and bottled water.
UV light food sterilization improves food safety, prolongs shelf life, prevents foodborne illnesses, controls insects and even delays early sprouting of potatoes and onions. You can find UVC germicidal lamps used for food safety in many applications including:
- Meat, fish and poultry – meat processing plants must adhere to strict regulations for cleanliness to deliver meat products which are healthy and free from contamination. Meat processing and packing facilities utilize UV lamps in food sterilization processes such as on conveyor belts that meat passes under. UV light is also used to sterilize surfaces in meat packaging areas as well as on containers.
- Dairy – UV light disinfection is popular in the dairy industry, especially when packaging fresh products such as milk, cheeses and yogurts. Just like pasteurization improves the health and safety of milk, UV light improves the safety of many food processes with UV wavelengths. UV light does not replace pasteurization which uses heat, although is highly effective at preserving dairy products and ensuring they are free from harmful bacteria and viruses.
- Beverages – UVC germicidal lamps are used in the beverage industry such as to improve the quality of bottled water and juices. UV treatment of packing containers and lids further ensures a sterilized product and packaging.
- Liquid sugar tanks – tanks which store liquid sugar and sweeteners such as high fructose corn syrup and even water require a sterilization technique to maintain the quality of stored products. UV light is commonly used to preserve the quality of these ingredients often stored in tanks.
- Frozen foods – UV food sterilization systems help to eliminate the potential of harmful microorganisms for better food quality and safety for the frozen food industry. By treating food immediately prior to packaging and treating packaging containers, UV light improves the quality and shelf life of many frozen food items.
- Baking – treating foods with UV light began with treating flours and yeasts to prevent insects and is still widely used in the baking industry. UV light can prevent the development of mold spores, a big contributor to waste in the baking industry which reduces shelf life and profits.
- Fruits and vegetables – treating pre-packaged fruits and vegetables prolongs the shelf life of fruits and vegetables, reduces spoilage and eliminates insects.
UV light food sterilization systems treat these many food industry operations and others. Be sure to work with a quality UV lamp supplier to achieve maximum performance with your food irradiation equipment. An experienced UVC germicidal lamp supplier will provide the right lamps to successfully treat your food or beverage application.
LightSources Offers High Quality Food Irradiation Lamps
LightSources is a leading supplier of UVC germicidal lamps, found in sterilization applications worldwide. We offer high quality germicidal lamps and innovative custom designed solutions for specific configurations. Our design and lighting engineers are experienced in lamp design and UV radiation, developing custom phosphor blends to deliver effective solutions for virtually any germicidal application. Our vast product line includes:
- Low pressure mercury lamps – we offer seven standard types of low pressure mercury germicidal lamps including:
- standard output quartz germicidal lamps
- high-output quartz lamps
- quartz compact lamps
- GU lamps
- standard output softglass lamps
- high-output softglass lamps
- softglass compact lamps
Our low pressure lamps provide maximum efficiency by converting 40% of electrical power to UVC radiation at precisely 254 nm. Our low pressure mercury lamps provide high performance over a long useful life up to 13,000 hours.
- Low Pressure Amalgam Lamps – Amalgam lamps are proven to yield up to three times more UVC emissions over comparable lamps with consistent output in varying temperatures ranging from 4° to 48° C. Our patented pellet amalgam technology provides high performance even in dimming power conditions.
- Medium Pressure Ultraviolet Lamps (MPUV) – MPUV lamps have seen significant technology improvements in recent years, providing UVC germicidal properties in addition to popular UV curing processes. MPUV lamps are found in many applications including air purification and water sterilization processes.
LightSources offers a vast product line as well as high tech, custom designed specialty lamp solutions. We set the industry standard with patented products proven to outlast and outperform comparable lamps. Contact us to improve your germicidal application with high quality, high-tech UVC lamps in air, water, surface and UV light food sterilization processes.