Next generation pasteurization…what if you could pasteurize water with light?

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In 1862 a French chemist (Louis Pasteur) invented the process of pasteurization in which liquids such as milk were heated and then cooled, killing most bacteria and molds.  150 years later this process is still being used.

But with the strong focus on water and energy efficiency for the past several years we are starting to see emerging technologies for pasteurization by replacing traditional heat pasteurization processes with ultraviolet (UV) light.

One company on the market today working on this technology is called Atlantium.  They recently won the “Beverage Innovation Award 2013” for their leadership in making pasteurized equivalent water that replaces heat pasteurization, enabling significant savings in energy and water consumption.

Atlantium has patented this technology  that leverages fiber optic and hydraulic principles to harness the full power of UV light, effectively recycling photons for better disinfection using much less energy.  Their process is further explained…” Integrated software, driven by sophisticated algorithms, tracks the key variables affecting UV dose in real time, automatically adjusting so that a measured effective UV dose is being delivered all the time.”

Inspired by Atlantium’s demonstration projects, US State Regulators and the Food and Drug Administration changed the law in 2009 to allow UV technologies that meet their criteria to substitute for heat to pasteurize water.

My questions to you are:

This type or equivalent systems seems to be emerging into “translucent” liquid food plants, on shore & off shore fish farms, bio-pharmaceutical, municipal final water treatment plants …

–  Do you have experience in such machine implementations, what are the main values in term of CAPEX / OPEX / ROI?

–  What can be done better with such systems from your point of view?

–  Does this system make sense for a Food and Beverage plant design focused on sustainability based on “re-duce, re-use, re-cycle, re-think” the business model?

Please share your experiences and interest for such technologies?

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  • Mahmoud Bashemela

    8 years ago

    According to what little I know that heat pasteurization is conducted below 100 degree Celsius while that of water is at 100 degree Celsius so if we are going to to use water we will be killing or eliminating microorganisms by boiling through reaching it’s boiling temperature!?

    • Eric Bonsignour

      8 years ago

      Good day Mahmoud You are right !
      That’s why in many Food & Beverage process, we need very clean water. To do so, most process pasteurize the water around 60 / 70°C to kill germs & other bad stuff. This process is long, working by batch & energy demanding.
      Now their is a new way to clean / pasteurize water by simply flowing the water through a tube receiving UVs. This is now a continue process much faster & using very little electricity. A wonderful thing right ?

      Very best regards,


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