Modern day solutions for fast, reliable, and environmentally friendly disinfection of food and beverage packaging materials

Bluelight Flash System

Hanau, 11. September 2022

To ensure that food and beverage products remain fresh and edible for as long as possible, strict hygienic conditions must be met, not only in terms of product quality but also during the filling and packaging process. Low-germ packaging materials are essential, especially for microbiologically demanding products such as food. A wide range of methods can be used to treat their surfaces. The latest light generation technology, works with pulsed light technology, kills germs on surfaces in just a fraction of a second and enables the highest production speeds: offering >log4 reduction of germs with speeds up to 90,000bpa.

Heraeus Noblelight has expanded its successful BlueLight disinfection product range to include the new powerful pulsed light solution that is ideal for high-speed food and beverage packaging disinfection of liquid and viscous foods, including beverage bottle caps, pots, tubs, and sealing films.

The BlueLight Flash Disinfection System is compact, easy to integrate into any orientation, and can be retrofitted to your existing system. Microbiological tests and ray tracing simulation can now be offered to predict log reduction and test the sterilization effect in advance. Experts provide their advice during drinktec in Munich, September 12-16th, hall A4, booth 454 and during an expert webinar September 27th, 2022.

"The topic of food safety is currently the subject of much discussion. The influence of production equipment on the quality of food products and beverages is rated very highly by manufacturers. With the new BlueLight Flash system, we meet the hygiene standards currently in force and offer excellent disinfection performance. This provides considerable added value for customers operating filling machines in the food industry," explains Julian Priddle, Product Manager at Heraeus Noblelight.

Sustainable, safe, and green

Compared to thermal processes, treatment with intense UV light is a reliable and economical method that eliminates the use of chemicals: highest production speeds with the most effective germicide for machines used in beverage and diary processes. The new BlueLight Flash system uses pulsed light technology to provide instant disinfection, with no warm-up time, even at the highest machine speeds which can be adopted to different process requirements inclusive cap diameters between 26 and 55 millimeters.

The high-energy light for disinfection is generated by xenon flash lamps. Completely without mercury, without chemicals and is therefore environmentally friendly. The system is easy to integrate and can be retrofitted to existing machines; alignment is possible regardless of direction. BlueLight Flash requires water cooling, which can be supplied as an option, and achieves IP protection class IP65 for the head module and IP55 for the control cabinet.

The typical BlueLight hygienic and safety requirements, such as glass breakage detector and intelligent feedback are also considered. The integrated HMI interface allows you to easily adapt the system to your process. Easy and user-friendly handling, low power consumption and the use of unique and sustainable flash lamp technology reduce your CO2 footprint.

Helping you choose the right solution for your process

Disinfection solutions from Heraeus Noblelight can be easily and efficiently retrofitted in existing plants. Using a computer-aided simulation tool that is unique in the industry, Heraeus can design optimally dimensioned solutions for retrofits and new installations in a short time and also offers microbiological tests. Individual requirements are considered to achieve reliable and safe disinfection performance.

Important design parameter: the lethal dose

Heraeus has been successfully using high-energy UV light for years to reduce the bacterial load on packaging material surfaces by up to 99.9%-99.999%. This significantly improves the shelf life of foods such as yogurt, quark or milk. Only a few seconds of the intense but cold UV light are sufficient to render germs such as bacteria, yeasts or fungi harmless. Irradiation with UV light is not only reliable and environmentally friendly, but also a dry process and is therefore suitable for processing organic products or milk powder.

This particularly short-wave UV light destroys the DNA of microorganisms. Viruses are inactivated within seconds and microorganisms such as bacteria, yeasts and moulds are deactivated in an environmentally friendly manner without the addition of chemicals. For a whole range of microorganisms, the ‘lethal dose’ of UV radiation is known, after which the cell can no longer maintain its metabolism and cannot reproduce. Because of cell wall structures, the lethal dose varies for different pathogens. Bacteria such as salmonellae and coli bacteria have a comparatively thin cell wall. They are therefore extremely UV-sensitive, can hardly shield the UV light and are inactivated very quickly.

An important parameter for the design of the suitable disinfection solution is this lethal UV dose necessary for germs. The speed of the machine, the geometry and shape of the packaging material, e.g., cap, cup, can or sealing film, are further criteria for the design of an effective UV disinfection system.

The required UV dose is calculated from the irradiance (intensity) of the lamp multiplied by the irradiation time. The intensity of the light irradiation in turn depends on the distance between the module and the packaging material. Application experts advise on the optimum design.

Learn more how specialty light sources with UV and Infrared Technology can speed up and optimize your bottlling, canning or labeling process at: