• Principles and mechanisms of ultraviolet light emitting diode technology for food industry applications

      Hinds, Laura M.; O'Donnell, Colm P.; Akhter, Mahbub; Tiwari, Brijesh; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; 14/F/845 (Elsevier, 2019-04-13)
      The application of ultraviolet (UV) light to water, food contact surfaces and medical equipment for microbial inactivation is widely employed. To date, UV disinfection sources employed are primarily low-pressure and medium-pressure mercury lamps; emitting monochromatic and polychromatic light, respectively. Despite the widespread use of mercury lamps, there are multiple drawbacks associated with their use including; high energy consumption, large size which limits reactor design, high heat emission and the presence of mercury. Light emitting diodes (LEDs) have potential for use as a highly efficient UV decontamination technology. Recent advances in semiconductor development have resulted in UV-LEDs becoming more widely available. UV-LEDs emit monochromatic light, which enables customised UV-LED disinfection systems at specific wavelengths to be developed. The application of UV-LEDs for disinfection purposes has been studied in recent years, particularly with respect to water disinfections systems. In this review, studies relating to UV-LED food applications are discussed. Furthermore, the chemical changes induced in foods, as a result of UV treatment, together with advantages and limitations of the technology are outlined.