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Food Science and Biosystems Engineering Education

Advanced Ultraviolet Technologies for Inactivation of Bacterial Spores and Viral Pathogens in Beverages


This website houses findings and education resources developed as part of an important USDA NIFA grant project in response to growing appreciation for the benefits of using non-thermal treatments as greener and more energy efficient processes for the treatment of beverages when compared to thermal treatments.

The increased interest in applying ultraviolet (UV) light technology in the treatment of beverages to inactivate bacterial spores and resistant non-enveloped viruses such as hepatitis A virus (HAV) and human noroviruses (HNoV), in addition to pathogenic and spoilage microorganisms is attacked in this project.

This project bridges existing knowledge gaps by assessing the sensitivity of target foodborne viruses and bacterial spores to UV and developing dose-response curves (pasteurized equivalent dose or sterilized equivalent dose). Recent published studies have demonstrated a high resistance of these organisms to thermal processing, and UV could be an important complementary treatment.

This project develops emerging foodborne viral pathogen disinfection methods for beverage treatment as well as spore inactivation. Systems developed in this project are a breakthrough in current pasteurization and sterilization practices for liquid foods in the United States.

This website houses research findings and education resources so that the innovative food safety procedures can be understood and adopted among consumers and industry.


UV-C Light Ensuring Safety and Quality of Beverages, Fact Sheet No. FSBE-01-2020

Refereed Articles

MS Islam, A Patras, B Pokharel, Y Wu, MJ Vergne, L Shade, H Xiao et al. 2016. UV-C irradiation as an alternative disinfection technique: Study of its effect on polyphenols and antioxidant activity of apple juice. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies 34, 344-351.

MS Bhullar, A Patras, A Kilanzo-Nthenge, B Pokharel, SK Yannam, et al. 2018. Microbial inactivation and cytotoxicity evaluation of UV irradiated coconut water in a novel continuous flow spiral reactor. Food Research international 103, 59-67.

DM Gunter‐Ward, A Patras, M S. Bhullar, A Kilonzo‐Nthenge, B Pokharel, et al. 2018. Efficacy of ultraviolet (UV‐C) light in reducing foodborne pathogens and model viruses in skim milk. Journal of Food Processing and Preservation 42 (2), e13485.

MS Bhullar, A Patras, A Kilonzo-Nthenge, B Pokharel, M Sasges. 2019. Ultraviolet inactivation of bacteria and model viruses in coconut water using a collimated beam system. Food Science and Technology international 25 (7), 562-572.

VVS Gopisetty, A Patras, B Pendyala, A Kilonzo-Nthenge, R Ravi, et al. 2019. UV‑C irradiation as an alternative treatment technique: Study of its effect on microbial inactivation, cytotoxicity, and sensory properties in cranberry-flavored water. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies 52, 66-74.

B Penyala, A Patras, V Gopisetty, M Sasges, R Ramasamy. 2020. Evaluation of UV-C Irradiation Treatments on Microbial Safety, Ascorbic Acid, and Volatile Aromatics Content of Watermelon Beverage. Food and Bioprocess Technology Volume 13, 101–111.