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At 222 nanometers, milk stays fresh longer

technology report online, February 2014

Food packaging must be hygienically clean, or else the contents suffer. How is that achieved? With UV light!

UV lamps
UV lamps for disinfection of packaging materials

In foodstuffs preparation, the highest hygiene requirements must be fulfilled with regard to production and packaging. The sterility of the packaging materials is the primary requirement when it comes to keeping such products as milk and fruit juices reliably storable.

Modern systems fill several packages per second – a high-speed process that cannot be followed with the naked eye. The disinfection process must keep up in order to ensure efficient overall production. Special UV lamps from Heraeus support the sterilization of the packagings with reliability.

In this process, the packaging materials are treated with hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). This chemical is not only highly antibacterial, but it is also eagerly taken up by the cell walls of the germs. As soon as these microorganisms are exposed to ultraviolet light at a wavelength of 222 nm, the absorbed hydrogen peroxide is activated, thereby destroying the structure of the microorganisms.

The process is so efficient that only one germ out of 100 million will survive. Thanks to modern UV technology, products such as milk will be kept fresh and tasty for several months.

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