UV disinfection in the food industry
journal contributionposted on 10.11.2008, 09:11 by Gilbert Shama
As more of the food that we consume is subject to some form of processing, a growing onus is being placed on the food industry to ensure that the food they produce is safe to eat. Recent tends in certain sectors of the food industry towards the centralisation of production towards a smaller number of increasingly large food processing facilities will have important implications for food safety. Such conditions enable a single incidence of food contamination at a facility from which food is distributed over a wide geographical area to potentially affect a large proportion of the population. Microbiological food safety implies the inactivation or removal of pathogenic microorganisms associated with foods. This can of course be achieved in a number of ways, but increasingly the use of chemical agents is becoming subject to ever tighter legislative control. This is in part a reflection of growing public anxieties about the possible harmful effects of such agents when ingested. Largely as a result of such concerns, interest is being shown in alternative, so-called ‘physical treatments’. The use of ultraviolet light (UV) falls within this category. This article deals with microbiological food safety and its assurance through the use of ultraviolet light.
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