UV Disinfection Eliminates Spoilage Due to Heat Resistant Mold

ETS-UV™ system helps major juice processor protect brand integrity and increase shelf life

Located in the State of California, this major citrus processor manufactures lemon, orange and grapefruit concentrates and single strength juices.  

 

Challenge

The customer had a concern involving the spoilage microorganism, Alicyclobacillus, which grows in the soil and attaches itself to the fruit prior to arrival for processing. Traditionally, the solution to prevent the presence of the microorganism was to pasteurize the liquid, however, this species is thermophilic and would survive the process of heat treating to 198°F for 10 seconds.

Fruit juices are supplied as freshly squeezed, single strength juice, or concentrated by evaporation and blended to meet client specifications. The juice is used for a wide variety of applications, including lemonade, yogurt and to flavor foods. Alicyclobacillus causes flavor and taste issues in lemon, orange, mango, grapefruit and cranberry juices.

Traditionally, UV disinfection did not have the capability to treat fluids containing a low transmittance. The ETS-UV Sugar Syrup system is successful because of its “thin film” design. This allows the system to deliver the dose needed to handle a low transmittance. When the system was piloted, it successfully achieved a 99.9% kill rate.

The bottling and canning industries had used the assumption that the bacterial spores will not germinate at pH values below 4.6, and that traditional acid-tolerant organisms are not typically very heat resistant. In this case, a low heat pasteurization process had sufficed. The advent of thermophilic species as spoilage organisms however led canners to examine other disinfection methods, and UV light disinfection was considered. Heat resistant mold can also be successfully disinfected using ETS-UV systems.


Solution

After consideration of a variety of processes, the ETS-UV system was selected due to its experience in treating optically impaired fluids. The ETS-UV system offers a small footprint, energy efficiency and superior performance.

Results

Quality and consistency are the foundation of consumer trust in a company’s product and brand. The ETS-UV system offers a solution that maintains the standard to deliver purity without additional additives for a consistent product.