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Efficacy of Ultraviolet (UV-C) Light in a Thin-Film Turbulent Flow for the Reduction of Milkborne Pathogens

Crook, Jennifer A., Rossitto, Paul V., Parko, Jared, Koutchma, Tatiana, Cullor, James S.
Foodborne pathogens & disease 2015 v.12 no.6 pp. 506-513
Aeromonas hydrophila, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Senftenberg, Serratia marcescens, Staphylococcus aureus, Yersinia enterocolitica, bacteria, food industry, nonlinear models, pasteurization, pathogens, turbulent flow, ultraviolet radiation, whole milk
Nonthermal technologies are being investigated as viable alternatives to, or supplemental utilization, with thermal pasteurization in the food-processing industry. In this study, the effect of ultraviolet (UV)-C light on the inactivation of seven milkborne pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes, Serratia marcescens, Salmonella Senftenberg, Yersinia enterocolitica, Aeromonas hydrophila, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus) was evaluated. The pathogens were suspended in ultra-high-temperature whole milk and treated at UV doses between 0 and 5000 J/L at a flow rate of 4300 L/h in a thin-film turbulent flow-through pilot system. Of the seven milkborne pathogens tested, L. monocytogenes was the most UV resistant, requiring 2000 J/L of UV-C exposure to reach a 5-log reduction. The most sensitive bacterium was S. aureus, requiring only 1450 J/L to reach a 5-log reduction. This study demonstrated that the survival curves were nonlinear. Sigmoidal inactivation curves were observed for all tested bacterial strains. Nonlinear modeling of the inactivation data was a better fit than the traditional log-linear approach. Results obtained from this study indicate that UV illumination has the potential to be used as a nonthermal method to reduce microorganism populations in milk.