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High Power UV-C Light Emitting Diodes for Surface and Aerial Decontamination of Food Environments to Eliminate Microbial Cross-Contamination


A novel approach to decontaminate meat processing environments which cover bioaerosols and their contact surfaces [stainless steel, rubber, glass, plastic] using High Intensity Ultraviolet (UV) Light Emitting Diode [LED] technology relevant to the meat industry is proposed. The project (seed grant) aims to investigate the effect of high intensity UV-C photons on aerosolized bacterial, viral pathogens and spoilage organisms. This study utilizes computing algorithms in quantifying the optical properties of microbial suspensions; that will enable selection of germicidal wave-length. The novelty of the current proposed work is improved penetration capability of UV light via [A] selection of appropriate germicidal wavelengths (where light absorption of microbial suspensions are low); [B] development of UV dose response curves for specific sizes of bacterial and viral aerosols in air and various contact surfaces, and account for light spectrum characteristics; and [C] evaluation of the effect of environmental parameters such as temperature, humidity, air flow rate, surface material type and their topology on microbial UV susceptibility and dose delivery. Additionally, this study will focus exploitation of environment friendly (mercury free and no ozone production) UV-C LED light. Bioaerosols in meat processing environments are recognized as important sources for microbial cross contamination of food products. Considerable evidence exists that environmental contamination with aerosolized microorganisms pose food safety and human health risks, and economic loss by food spoilage.Goals and ObjectivesThis project aims to demonstrate and validate the potential of UV LED technology to inactivate spoilage microorganisms, pathogenic bacteria and viruses as bioaerosols and on contact surfaces.(I). Design and development of a bench scale air and surface disinfection system; (II). Determination of the UV susceptibility of spoilage, pathogenic bacterial (vegetative and spores), and virus aerosolson deposited contact surfaces; (III). Determination of the UV susceptibility of the above described spoilage, pathogenic bacterial and spore aerosols in air (bioaerosols); (IV). Evaluation of the effect of environmental variables (temperature, humidity, air flow rate, surface material type, and their topology characteristics) on UV inactivation efficiency of surface and air disinfection systems

Patras, Ankit
Tennessee State University
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