Using UV Disinfection to Ensure Bio-Security in the Pharmaceutical, Food and Beverage Industries

The pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries are unique in that their products are either consumed directly or are used in products that are actively consumed by people. In an increasingly regulated and safety-conscious market, these industries have to meet ever more stringent standards on water quality and bio-security.

It is vital to treat the water used in the manufacturing process to remove toxins, biohazards and any unwanted organic materials, while at the same time not incurring any residual taste, colour or reagents that could affect another part of the downstream process. In these industries the ‘raw’ potable water they source at the start of the process may not be completely free of bio-challenges, as needed for their individual processes, resulting in active growth of microorganisms to harmful levels.

UV is ideal for these applications as it is both effective and chemical-free. It eliminates all known pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, yeasts and moulds (and their spores) and is low maintenance and environmentally friendly.

The importance of bio-security
Bio-security is very important to understand from both the supplier and customer perspective. It is a fine balancing act between providing an appropriately-sized treatment system on the one hand while ensuring viable cost of ownership on the other.

Where a UV system is required to target a specific bacteria, virus or other bio-hazard, the precise minimum dose needed to achieve the required reduction of that hazard must be well characterised and monitored in delivery. Three general types of system can be used for this task:

• Very cost-effective systems monitored for a minimum lamp intensity that achieve a minimum delivered dose which is not defined
• Cost-effective systems that have been referenced to known validations and therefore offer an assured bio-security, but without the absolute cost of a full validation
• Costly systems that have been fully validated to monitor the precise dose delivered and the power of the system controlled to continually deliver that required dose

How UV disinfection works
UV is the part of the electromagnetic spectrum between visible light and X-rays. The specific portion of the UV spectrum between 100-290nm (known as UV-C) has a strong germicidal effect, with peak effectiveness at 265nm. At these wavelengths UV eliminates microorganisms by penetrating their cell membranes and damaging the DNA, making them unable to reproduce and effectively killing them.

A typical UV disinfection system for process water or liquid ingredient consists of a UV lamp housed in a protective quartz sleeve and mounted within a cylindrical stainless steel chamber. The liquid to be treated enters at one end and passes along the entire length of the chamber before exiting at the other end. Virtually any liquid can be effectively treated with UV, including raw mains water, filtered process water, viscous sugar syrups, beverages and effluent.

There are no microorganisms known to be resistant to UV; this includes pathogenic bacteria such as Listeria, Legionella and Cryptosporidium (and its spores, which are resistant to chlorination).

UV dose
The irradiated UV dose necessary for microbial deactivation varies from one species to another and is measured in millijoules per square centimetre (mJ/cm2). Values for specific microorganisms have been experimentally established and are used to determine the type and size of UV system required.

The dose received by an organism in a UV treatment system is dependent on five main factors:

1. The energy output of the UV source
2. The flow rate of the fluid through the treatment chamber
3. The transmission value (ability to transmit UV light) of the fluid being treated
4. The geometry of the treatment chamber
5. The chemistry of the water

By optimising these criteria, a UV system can be tailored to effectively treat large or small flows, as well as viscous fluids or those containing dissolved solids and high levels of starch or sugar compounds.

UV technologies
There are two main types of UV technology based on the UV lamps used: low pressure and medium pressure. Low pressure lamps have a ‘monochromatic’ UV output (limited to a single wavelength at 254nm), whereas medium pressure lamps have a ‘polychromatic’ UV output (between 185-400nm).

As UV has no residual effect, the best position for a treatment system is immediately prior to the point of use. This ensures incoming microbiological contaminants are destroyed and there is a minimal chance of post-treatment contamination.

UV applications in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage industries

Direct contact water
Although municipal water supplies are normally free from harmful or pathogenic microorganisms, this should not be assumed. In addition, water from private sources such as natural springs or boreholes could also be contaminated. Any water used as an ingredient, or that comes in direct contact with the product, can therefore be a source of contamination. UV disinfects this water without chemicals or pasteurisation. It also allows the re-use of process water, saving money and improving productivity without risking the quality of the product.

CIP (Clean-in-Place) rinse water
It is essential that the CIP final rinse water used to flush out foreign matter and disinfecting solutions is microbiologically safe. Fully automated UV disinfection systems can be integrated with CIP rinse cycles to ensure final rinse water does not reintroduce microbiological contaminants.

Filter disinfection
Reverse osmosis (RO) and granular activated carbon (GAC) are often used to filter process water, but can be a breeding ground for bacteria. UV is an effective way of disinfecting both stored RO and GAC filtered water and has been used in the process industries for many years.

GAC filters are also often used to dechlorinate process water, removing the ‘off’ flavours often associated with chlorine disinfection, meaning the flavour of the final product remains untainted and free from unwanted flavours or odours. Placing UV systems ahead of GAC filters used for dechlorination improves the performance of the filters and results in longer carbon runs, so decreasing operating costs.

As the usual dose for removing free chlorine is 15 to 30 times higher than the normal disinfection dose, an important additional benefit of using UV dechlorination is a high level of UV disinfection, reduction in Total Organic Carbon (TOC) and improved overall water quality at point-of-use.

TOC reduction
Short UV wavelengths (below 200nm) are highly effective at breaking down organic molecules present in water, commonly known as Total Organic Carbon (TOC), especially low molecular weight contaminants. This works in two ways: the first method is by direct photolysis, when energy from the UV actually breaks down chemical bonds within the organics; the second method is by the photolysis of water molecules, splitting them to create charged OH- radicals, which also attack the organics.

Cooling media and chiller disinfection
Some meat and dairy products are subject to contamination after heat treatment or cooking. UV provides an excellent way to protect foods from contamination by contact-cooling fluids.

Sugar syrups
Sugar syrups can be a prime breeding ground for microorganisms. Although syrups with very high sugar content do not support microbial growth, any dormant spores may become active after the syrup has been diluted. Treating the syrup and dilution water with UV prior to use will ensure any dormant microorganisms are deactivated.

Liquid sweeteners
Sucrose-based sweeteners can be a prime breeding ground for microorganisms. UV systems are available specifically for treating these syrups.

De-aerated liquor
De-aerated liquor is added as part of a high gravity brewing process, often in the packaging operation. This liquor is added directly to the beer so needs to be kept free from contamination by gram negative bacteria, which can cause off-flavours and acidity.

Yeast preparation
The problems associated with yeast preparation in breweries are well recognised and include hazes, altered fermentation and surface membranes on packaged beer. A single cell of Sacchoromyces (var. Turbidans) in 16 million cells of pitching yeast will cause detectable hazes. UV destroys all known yeasts and their spores.

Waste water
Effluent from pharmaceutical, food and beverage facilities can be treated without the use of environmentally hazardous chemicals. This ensures all discharges meet with local environmental regulations. As already mentioned, because process water can be treated and re-used with UV, this also leads to a significant reduction in the amount of waste water produced.

Ongoing Research
As part of its ongoing commitment to pushing the boundaries of UV science, Hanovia recently opened a UV Application Centre in Shanghai, China. Serving as an R&D centre of excellence for research into the science of UV for new and emerging applications worldwide, the centre will directly support existing and future requirements in Hanovia’s traditional markets for food & beverage, pharmaceutical and high purity water.

Working in collaboration with leading universities from around the world, such as Imperial College in London and Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany, as well as some of the leading global brands in the pharmaceutical, food and beverage industry, the centre is already enhancing our understanding of UV efficiency in the control and destruction of inorganic compounds.

“The centre is completely customer-driven and is set up with a very clear mission: to develop UV application science that our customers actually need and to answer those searching questions that only empirical test work can answer,” comments Hanovia’s Technical Director Dr. Mark Aston. “This means working as a partner with our customers to push the boundaries of UV science and align our product range with their existing and future needs. This will directly help them achieve their primary goal of meeting all necessary quality standards with ever increasing efficiency and security.”

The centre’s Principal Engineer, Dr Elaine Feng, added: “Why speculate about UV performance for a new application when a series of targeted experiments will bring certainty to UV performance and efficiency? We believe our investment in the science will allow our customers to enjoy scientific rigour in their process development, gaining the peace of mind that comes with the hands on experience of moving from bench top to pilot to full scale”.

Meeting the increasingly rigorous hygiene standards required in the production of pharmaceutical, food and beverage products is a real challenge. If improvements need to be made to plant and equipment, they need to bring quick returns on the investment and measurable improvements in product quality.

For manufacturers seeking to improve the quality of the end product and to ensure the bio-security of their process, UV is an economic, realistic option. It is already an established method of disinfecting drinking water throughout the world, and is already widely used for high purity applications where water of the highest quality is essential.

UV disinfection systems are easy to install, with minimum disruption to the plant. They need very little maintenance, the only requirement being replacement of the UV lamps every 9 – 12 months, depending on use. This is a simple operation that takes only a few minutes and can be carried out by general maintenance staff.

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Pixelteq to showcase Spectrocam and Multispectral Sensors at Laser World of Photonics

Multispectral sensors & cameras are a key to next-generation optical devices

Leading manufacturers of spectral filters, sensors and cameras, Pixelteq is going to showcase the latest SpectroCam as well as their multi-spectral filters and sensors at the forthcoming “Laser World of Photonics” expo on optical products being held in Bengaluru, India.

The SpectroCam Multispectral Camera delivers live processed images of visible and near-infrared wavelengths to distinguish materials and highlight features invisible to the human eye. With a library of more than 150 interchangeable spectral filters, SpectroCam can be configured for a variety of applications or customized to fit yours. Visit Stall No.C-16 for a live demo of SpectroCam.

Also to be showcased is the PixelSensor™ Multispectral Sensors, wavelength-selective sensors that deliver 8-band spectroscopy in < 1 footprint. Using the PixelSensor Developer Board, the compact device makes real-time precision measurements of discrete spectral bands.

PIXELTEQ’s exclusive micro-patterned filters help OEMs to shrink multi-wavelength devices into a single package, enable new optical features, and deliver application-specific sensors and cameras. PIXELTEQ provides custom optical filters and wafer-level coatings for scalable production.

“Clients are using our PIXELTEQ’s micro-patterned filters, sensors, and cameras to deliver more portable and cost-effective optical devices,” explained Bhushan Dhakras, India Business Development Manager at PIXELTEQ. “The multispectral sensing & imaging trend is innovating new optical devices across agricultural, biomedical, security, art conservation, forensic and scientific applications.”

Laser World of Photonics India into its’ 3rd edition is a trade fair that’s a gathering for think tanks of the Indian laser and photonics industry and its users. The expo revolves around innovative products and their industrial solutions and applications.

To learn more about the solutions visit our Stall No. C-16 at The Laser World of Photonics expo in Bengaluru from Sept 23-25 or for our custom OEM capabilities, call Bhushan Dhakras at +91 22 67080420, Mob : +91 9930021866, visit, or email

About Pixelteq:
PIXELTEQ provides micro-patterned spectral filters, sensors, and cameras – helping users shrink multi-wavelength devices into a single package, enable new optical features, and deliver application-specific sensors and cameras. Leveraging comprehensive know-how in thin film coating, micro-patterning and electro-optical integration, PIXELTEQ’s specialists collaborate with client teams to provide expert design assistance and custom-engineered solutions from rapid prototyping through high-volume OEM production.

PIXELTEQ is a subsidiary of Halma plc., an international market leader in safety, health and environmental technology.

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Palintest Partners Up with Durham Wildlife Trust for Environmental Monitoring Project

Palintest Ltd, the leader in water analysis, is delighted to support the Durham Wildlife Trust’s Living Waterways Project with its portable water chemistry analysis equipment. The project is an Environment Agency initiative that aims to find sustainable solutions to the problems caused by urban diffuse pollution in our local rivers.


A major part of the project requires the analysis of water chemistry at a number of project sites. To facilitate this, Palintest Ltd has loaned a Macro 900 WQS to the Wildlife Trust, enabling project staff to carry out easy, accurate and reliable testing of key parameters such as Dissolved Oxygen and pH level. The company has also supplied a set of additional visual test kits for the project.

Living Waterways Project Officer, Michael Rogers, states that the data gathered in the field “is invaluable, as it provides a base from which all our work will be monitored in the future, to see and show the real difference we are making!”


The study aims to help improve the ecological status of urban water bodies across the North East. This is done through wildlife habitat creation coupled with efforts to raise community awareness and interest in local streams and waterways. Reliable, accurate and easy-to-use on-site testing is crucial to the education process and on-going environmental upkeep.

To learn more Palintest’s full range of water testing products, visit, email or phone +44 (0)191 491 0808

About Palintest
Palintest (a Halma company) is a world-leading manufacturer of water testing and environmental products for water quality, drinking water, and swimming pool testing. Palintest leads the way in technology for the domestic, industrial and commercial water and soil management markets as well. We supply a wide range of photometer and comparator instruments, test kits and reagent systems for the detection of many elements.Whatever your applications, Palintest instruments offer the most reliable methods available in portable meters using the latest technology.

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Critical pH Measurement in Primary Wastewater Treatment

Sensorex TX2000 pH/ORP transmitters pair with quality sensors to provide accurate real-time data

Sensorex’s TX2000 Intelligent pH/ORP Series Transmitters’ advanced technology delivers critical analytical information from process sensors to water treatment plant operators. Designed for use with Sensorex’s easy-to-clean flat surface technology sensors, including the modular S8000 pH sensor line, the user friendly TX2000 integrates easily with plant control systems.

Sensorex WEFTEC2014BLOG

Influent process monitoring can alert water treatment plant operators to contaminated raw sewage entering the plant, allowing it to be diverted and further treated to avoid process upsets. Measuring pH in raw sewage can detect excess acid or base conditions that may be the result of a municipal spill or large industrial user discharge. The pH of discharge water must also be monitored to comply with local regulations. In plants using biological treatments, ORP(redox) measurement is frequently used for process control. Full featured with alarm/control relays and current outputs (4-20mA), the TX2000 transmitter interfaces to plant SCADA or DCS control systems, keeping operators apprised of changing process conditions.

The transmitter features easy-to-navigate text and graphic illustrations in a large display, backlit for operation in low light conditions. Supplied in a compact NEMA 4X/IP65 enclosure, units can be wall mounted, installed in a panel, or conveniently pipe/handrail mounted.

An optional TX2000RS model offers additional features including data display charts and trend graphics, a real-time clock with logbook function, and customer defined five-point calibration with displayed calibration curve. The RS model is also equipped with one analog output and serial RS-485 interface for MODBUS RTU or ASCII communications, for digital interface to existing plant SCADA or DCS control systems.

Both models are CE certified and include Multi-Cal calibration with automatic buffer recognition, an additional wash feature, and universal 100-240VAC power supply. The TX2000 has a pH measurement range of -2.00 to 16.00pH and an oxidation reduction potential (ORP) measurement range of -1999mV to 1999mV. The transmitters are compatible with a number probes and sensors to fit most process application requirements.

To learn more about the new TX2000 Intelligent pH/ORP Transmitters as well as Sensorex’s full range of sensors, electrodes and analytical products, visit, email, or phone +1 714-895-4344.

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Dairy Plus in Thailand Replaces Chlorine Disinfection with Hanovia UV

UV offers clean, environmentally-friendly alternative with no after-taste.

Dairy Plus Co. Ltd. in Thailand has replaced its chlorine-based disinfection system with medium pressure UV technology from Hanovia. The company decided to reduce high levels of chlorine dosage throughout the process because it was proving ineffective at removing all microorganisms, particularly in the rainy season. It was also producing an after-taste in the product.


Water to the plant is from two sources: city water and deep well water. The chlorine is only dosed at the raw water feed level, firstly after the clarifier for pre-chlorination and then some low concentration dosing after the softener.

“The incoming city water in particular has a high microbial contact – often as much as 20,000 cfu/ml in the rainy season,” commented Ying Xu, Hanovia’s Asia-Pacific Sales Manager. “At these times, high chlorine doses of even 8ppm were still resulting in microbial concentrations over 6,000 cfu/ml. Something therefore had to be done, and that’s where UV was able to help.

“UV, which is a non-chemical disinfection process, was brought to the attention of Dairy Plus by our local distributor,” continued Miss Xu. “When Dairy Plus saw the advantages of our medium pressure UV systems, which effectively remove microorganisms without any problems of after-taste or re-infection, the company decided to switch from chlorine to UV as its main disinfection method.”

Five Hanovia UV systems are installed at the plant – four duty and one standby. Two units disinfect clean-in-place (CIP) water and two are used for treating dairy mixing water. Each UV system treats up to 130m3/hour of water. As mentioned there are two sources of raw water being used with two feeds coming out of the city water source.

Dairy plus-2

City water source: (two feeds)
Feed 1: City water > Clarifier > Sand filter >Carbon Filter>Chlorination>Storage tank
Feed 2: City water >UF Filter>Chlorination>Storage tank

Storage tank (Feed 1 combined with Feed 2) > Softener No.1> Low Dosed Chlorination>Bag Filter>Storage tank of Softener No.1> UV1 > UV2 > CIP (Clean-in-place)

Deep well water: (one feed)
Deep well water > Deion filter > Carbon filter > Chlorination>Storage Tank>Softener No.2>Low Dosed Chlorination>Bag Filter>Storage Tank>UV3 > UV4 > Mixing with final product

Bacteria targeted for reduction include E. coli and many other common water-borne coliforms; the expected level of bacterial reduction is a total plate count of <50 cfu/ml.

“One of the main reasons Dairy Plus selected Hanovia in particular was down to the efforts of our local distributor, who helped resolve a number of initial complications. Our products are also recognised as offering the most advanced technology for high purity food and beverage applications like this,” added Ms Xu.

“Since our systems were installed the customer is very satisfied with their performance, reporting that the units are running well and producing excellent disinfection results. The company is particularly impressed by the low maintenance costs, the high energy output of the systems, and the fact that the frequency of CIP procedures has been dramatically reduced, meaning less down-time of the manufacturing process,” she concluded.

For more details contact Mr.Gunvinder Bhogal; Tel: +44(0)1753 515300, E-mail:; Website:

About Dairy Plus
Dairy Plus Co. Ltd. produces and distributes UHT dairy products across Thailand. It is part of the Dutch Mill Group which accounts for 20% of Thailand’s dairy produce output.

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