The company decided to use UV technology to ensure final product security prior to mixing and bottling.
Microbial growth due to contaminated water or ingredients can cause discolouration, off flavours and shortened shelf-life.
The threat of contamination is further increased as manufacturers respond to demands for less chemical additives and preservatives.
Scale of problem
When asked how common microbial growth due to contaminated water or ingredients is, Hanovia told us it depends on the source water used and varies in different regions of the world.
“When the water is taken to be used for production it needs to go through a treatment plant that every beverage manufacturing site will have. The industry is heavily regulated and no chance is taken for a contamination. Contamination can occur from the source water taken or even from storage tanks that are holding ingredients.”
Cott Beverages has been using Hanovia UV disinfection technology for 15 years and they use the technology on all sites.
Hanovia would not tell us what microorganisms are of concern to Cott or information around inactivation dose.
Chris Prentice, site service engineer at Cott Beverages, said the UV systems have been easy to integrate, maintain and operate.
“They provide us with absolute insurance before bottling by making sure that we are producing and maintaining a high-quality product, which is essential for our brand.”
Legislation such as the EU Directive for Bottled Water 98/88/EC (1998) ensures the beverage industry meets stringent standards of quality.
Hanovia UV also partnered with F&N (Fraser and Neave) Beverages Manufacturing (FNBM) last year in Malaysia to install a disinfection system at its manufacturing plant in Inanam, Kota Kinabalu.
UV disinfection characteristics
There are no microorganisms known to be resistant to UV – including pathogenic bacteria such as Listeria, legionella and cryptosporidium (and its spores, which are resistant to chlorination).
“Over [the] years we have established records of research carried out on microorganisms and the industry is also rich of knowledge gained from the municipal sector. There are published tables that show reduction of threat based on many microorganisms,” said Hanovia.
UV does not introduce toxins or residues into process water and does not alter the chemical composition, taste, odour or pH of the fluid being disinfected.
It is used for primary disinfection or as a back-up for other purification methods such as carbon filtration, reverse osmosis or pasteurisation.
The best position for a treatment system is immediately prior to the point of use. This ensures incoming microbiological contaminants are destroyed and minimal chance of post-treatment contamination.
Hanovia said its PureLine UV system is ‘optimised’ for the beverage industry to simplify the treatment of water, sugar syrup, brine and even reducing chlorine and ozone.
“The design of the chamber is sized for the typical flows associated with the industry and uses lamp technology that provides the correct amount of dose to provide the required disinfection,” the firm said.
“The energy use is optimised so it provides the manufacturer with savings. The UV system also has the required certifications to provide the level of hygiene and safety required.”
When asked about ‘shadow zones’ not decontaminated by the UV lamp, Hanovia said: “Our systems are designed using the latest CFD software that provides the correct design characteristics to match the flow pattern of the water in the chamber thus providing complete coverage using a correct UV lamp.”
Installation of UV disinfection systems causes minimum disruption to the plant and the only maintenance requirement being replacement of the UV lamps every 9-12 months, depending on use. This takes a few minutes and can be carried out by trained general maintenance staff.
“The lamp change is made easy and quick, providing the system with minimum downtime. Sensors on the system provide data on UV intensity and flow so the system can adjust dose automatically. The control panel also provides the onsite engineers an easy way of monitoring the performance.”