Efficacy of ultraviolet (uv-c) light in a thin-film turbulent flow for the reduction of milkborne pathogens

Jennifer A. Crook, Paul V. Rossitto, Jared Parko, Tatiana Koutchma, James S Cullor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Nonthermal technologies are being investigated as viable alternatives to, or supplemental utilization, with thermal pasteurization in the food-processing industry. In this study, the effect of ultraviolet (UV)-C light on the inactivation of seven milkborne pathogens (Listeria monocytogenes, Serratia marcescens, Salmonella Senftenberg, Yersinia enterocolitica, Aeromonas hydrophila, Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus) was evaluated. The pathogens were suspended in ultra-high-temperature whole milk and treated at UV doses between 0 and 5000J/L at a flow rate of 4300L/h in a thin-film turbulent flow-through pilot system. Of the seven milkborne pathogens tested, L. monocytogenes was the most UV resistant, requiring 2000J/L of UV-C exposure to reach a 5-log reduction. The most sensitive bacterium was S. aureus, requiring only 1450J/L to reach a 5-log reduction. This study demonstrated that the survival curves were nonlinear. Sigmoidal inactivation curves were observed for all tested bacterial strains. Nonlinear modeling of the inactivation data was a better fit than the traditional log-linear approach. Results obtained from this study indicate that UV illumination has the potential to be used as a nonthermal method to reduce microorganism populations in milk.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)506-513
Number of pages8
JournalFoodborne Pathogens and Disease
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology


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