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 (nm) specifically, is proven to quickly eliminate harmful germs including many bacteria and viruses. UVC lamps can be found in many germicidal applications including surface, air and water sterilization.
Germicidal lamps benefit any surface sterilization process as UVC energy that reaches any surface is proven effective at eliminating various bacteria, viruses and harmful pathogens. UV surface sterilization is more effective when the surface is cleaned and free from dirt and debris which can block the UV radiation from fully reaching harmful microbes. Surface sterilization is highly effective in restaurants and kitchens to improve the safety of staff and patrons. Some areas where surface sterilization benefits food preparation industries include:
UVC germicidal lamps provide many benefits to restaurants with food irradiation, an FDA approved method of disinfecting food and helping to prevent foodborne illnesses. UV lamps also provide solutions for air purification in establishments, and surface sterilization in many areas such as food storage areas, freezers, and kitchen equipment.
UV lamps in commercial kitchen hood exhausts provide an added benefit of helping to break down grease and prevent grease buildup. Through a process called ozonolysis, UV energy causes a chemical reaction that alters the organic compounds in grease and prevents buildup of grease in the kitchen hood exhaust system.
There are many types of air sterilization systems which can be installed in any residential, commercial or industrial building. UV air purification is highly effective at eliminating harmful airborne viruses and UV HVAC systems help to clean and purify the air automatically.
UVC lamps in water disinfection is highly effective and eliminates some harmful microorganisms that chlorine does not. UV light disinfects liquids in the food and beverage industry such as sugary syrups and liquid sweeteners that can be a breeding ground for harmful microorganisms.
UV light in the food and beverage processing industry is widely used 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.
UV Light Food Sterilization is Proven Safe
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, has studied the safety of foods treated with UV irradiation for over 30 years and has found it to be a completely safe process. In addition to the FDA, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the World Health Organization (WHO), have all endorsed UV food irradiation as safe.
You can learn more about how and why food is irradiated and FDA requirements for irradiated food labeling at Food Irradiation: What You Need to Know.
Types of Food for UV Light Sterilization
UV light sterilization of food improves food safety, prolongs shelf life, prevents foodborne illnesses, controls insects, and even delays early sprouting of potatoes and onions. You can find germicidal UVC 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 disinfection 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.
UV Lamps Benefit Food Sterilization Processes
UV lamps provide many benefits to food sterilization processes in addition to making food safer. Some of the greatest benefits of UV light food sterilization include:
- Highly effective – UV light is proven to kill many bacteria and viruses, prevent mold and mildew from occurring and preserve many food items safely.
- Quick – Preserving food and killing bacteria and viruses is fast with UV energy, when emitted at the right nanometer typically 254 nm, and for the correct exposure time which is usually measured in seconds because it is so fast and effective.
- Eco-friendly – UV light is environmentally friendly, providing effective sterilization without the use of chemicals and producing no toxic byproducts.
- Easy to maintain – UV systems are easy to maintain. Most contain high-efficiency ballasts for energy efficiency and with quality bulbs from LightSources you can enjoy longer lasting performance for less maintenance.
- Cost-effective – food irradiation with UV lamps is economical and with proprietary technology from LightSources like LongLife+, our lamps are designed to outlast and outperform comparable lamps with higher output for longer efficacy towards end of lamp useful life.
LightSources Offers High Quality UV Light Food Sterilization Lamps
LightSources is a leading supplier of UVC germicidal lamps, found in UV light food sterilization and many other disinfection 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 of germicidal UVC lamps for surface, water, air and food sterilization includes:
Low Pressure Mercury Lamps
- 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.
LAMP PRODUCT DATA:UV Germicidal Lamps
LAMP Applications:UV Germicidal Applications
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.