GB2495481A - Treatment device for liquid products - Google Patents

Treatment device for liquid products Download PDF

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Publication number
GB2495481A
GB2495481A GB201117173A GB201117173A GB2495481A GB 2495481 A GB2495481 A GB 2495481A GB 201117173 A GB201117173 A GB 201117173A GB 201117173 A GB201117173 A GB 201117173A GB 2495481 A GB2495481 A GB 2495481A
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GB
United Kingdom
Prior art keywords
liquid product
chamber
treatment device
text
lt
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
GB201117173A
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GB201117173D0 (en
Inventor
Allan Slater
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
MICROTEK PROCESSES Ltd
Original Assignee
MICROTEK PROCESSES Ltd
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Application filed by MICROTEK PROCESSES Ltd filed Critical MICROTEK PROCESSES Ltd
Priority to GB201117173A priority Critical patent/GB2495481A/en
Publication of GB201117173D0 publication Critical patent/GB201117173D0/en
Publication of GB2495481A publication Critical patent/GB2495481A/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

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Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; THEIR TREATMENT, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23CDAIRY PRODUCTS, e.g. MILK, BUTTER, CHEESE; MILK OR CHEESE SUBSTITUTES; MAKING THEREOF
    • A23C3/00Preservation of milk or milk preparations
    • A23C3/07Preservation of milk or milk preparations by irradiation, e.g. by microwaves ; by sonic or ultrasonic waves
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; THEIR TREATMENT, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23LFOODS, FOODSTUFFS, OR NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, NOT COVERED BY SUBCLASSES A23B - A23J; THEIR PREPARATION OR TREATMENT, e.g. COOKING, MODIFICATION OF NUTRITIVE QUALITIES, PHYSICAL TREATMENT; PRESERVATION OF FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS, IN GENERAL
    • A23L2/00Non-alcoholic beverages; Dry compositions or concentrates therefor; Their preparation
    • A23L2/42Preservation of non-alcoholic beverages
    • A23L2/50Preservation of non-alcoholic beverages by irradiation or electric treatment without heating
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A23FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS; THEIR TREATMENT, NOT COVERED BY OTHER CLASSES
    • A23LFOODS, FOODSTUFFS, OR NON-ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES, NOT COVERED BY SUBCLASSES A23B - A23J; THEIR PREPARATION OR TREATMENT, e.g. COOKING, MODIFICATION OF NUTRITIVE QUALITIES, PHYSICAL TREATMENT; PRESERVATION OF FOODS OR FOODSTUFFS, IN GENERAL
    • A23L3/00Preservation of foods or foodstuffs, in general, e.g. pasteurising, sterilising, specially adapted for foods or foodstuffs
    • A23L3/26Preservation of foods or foodstuffs, in general, e.g. pasteurising, sterilising, specially adapted for foods or foodstuffs by irradiation without heating
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C02TREATMENT OF WATER, WASTE WATER, SEWAGE, OR SLUDGE
    • C02FTREATMENT OF WATER, WASTE WATER, SEWAGE, OR SLUDGE
    • C02F1/00Treatment of water, waste water, or sewage
    • C02F1/30Treatment of water, waste water, or sewage by irradiation
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C02TREATMENT OF WATER, WASTE WATER, SEWAGE, OR SLUDGE
    • C02FTREATMENT OF WATER, WASTE WATER, SEWAGE, OR SLUDGE
    • C02F2301/00General aspects of water treatment
    • C02F2301/02Fluid flow conditions
    • C02F2301/024Turbulent
    • CCHEMISTRY; METALLURGY
    • C02TREATMENT OF WATER, WASTE WATER, SEWAGE, OR SLUDGE
    • C02FTREATMENT OF WATER, WASTE WATER, SEWAGE, OR SLUDGE
    • C02F2303/00Specific treatment goals
    • C02F2303/04Disinfection

Abstract

This invention relates to a treatment device 1 for treating liquid products, e.g. milk, soup and orange juice. The device includes an electrodeless plasma bulb, which is excitable by RF energy in either pulsed or continuous form, which irradiates the liquid product as it passes through a first chamber 100. The first chamber also includes means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be turbulent, thus ensuring the emitted light irradiates a greater proportion of the liquid product. The liquid product then passes to a second chamber 200 by an interconnecting chamber, for treatment by another plasma bulb. The interconnecting chamber also includes means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be turbulent. The means for encouraging turbulence may be a corrugated surface, or a plurality of baffles.

Description

A TREATMENT DEVICE

This invention relates to a device for treating a liquid product, such as by disinfecting, pasteurizing or sterilizing the liquid product Treatment devices are used to disinfect, pasteurize or sterilize various liquid products, e.g. liquid food and drink. One form of treatment device irradiates the liquid product. In this device, a lamp is positioned inside a transparent enclosure. As the liquid product flows over the enclosure, it is irradiated by the intense white light emitted from the lamp. This light has the effect of substantially disinfecting, pasteurizing or sterilizing the liquid product. This technique is therefore used as an alternative to conventional pasteurization, microfiltration or chemical preservation.

Despite the advantages, these treatment devices have not yet become the most common technology for treating liquid products. This is in part due to the efficiency of the technique not yet justifying the cost of the equipment. Furthermore, a notable disadvantage of the conventional treatment devices is that the lamp tends to heat the product, thus changing the product's taste and quality.

It is therefore desirable to alleviate some or all of the above problems.

The skilled person will understand that the particular set-up of the treatment device defines whether the liquid product is disinfected, pasteurized or sterilized. That is, for highly transmissive liquid products, the intense white light emitted from the lamp reduces the total viable count (TVC) to a point where no microorganism may grow. Therefore, for highly transmissive liquid products, the treatment device sterilizes the product. However, for less transmissive liquid products, the treatment device achieves log-phase reductions in the TVC.

Therefore, for less transmissive liquid products, the treatment device disinfects or pasteurizes the product. For the purposes of this description, the term treat' or treatment' encompasses all three processes. The skilled person will understand that the most appropriate terminology will depend on a particular treatment device's design, energy and treatment time, and nature of liquid stream.

According to a first aspect of the invention, there is provided a treatment device for treating a liquid product, comprising a first chamber for receiving the liquid product, including a first means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be substantially turbulent; a second chamber for receiving the liquid product, including a second means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be substantially turbulent; an interconnecting chamber, for transporting the liquid product from the first chamber to the second chamber, including a third means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be substantially turbulent; a first RF energy source and a second RF energy source; a first electrodeless plasma bulb, configured such that, in use, the first bulb is excited by the first RF energy source such that it irradiates the first chamber and treats the liquid product; and a second electrodeless plasma bulb, configured such that, in use, the second bulb is excited by the second RF energy source such that it irradiates the second chamber and treats the liquid product.

The present invention therefore provides a treatment device including a plurality of means for encouraging the flow of liquid product to be substantially turbulent, for example, corrugated inner walls or transverse baffles in the chambers. This has the effect of substantially increasing the efficiency of the device as it increases the likelihood that a large proportion of the liquid product is irradiated by the emitted light from the bulb. The treatment device of the present invention may therefore reduce treatment time, reduce the product volume contained in the chambers, reduce fouling, and reduce the chamber volume and weight.

The electrodeless bulbs are excited by an RF energy source, such as a pulsed magnetron, which can thus induce large spikes of light energy from the bulbs. Thus, in the present invention, only one or two pulses are required to substantially treat a volume of liquid in the first or second chamber and the overall power requirement of the device is substantially reduced. Furthermore, the use of an electrodeless plasma bulb ensures that the equipment remains efficient for a longer period of time than bulbs having electrodes. Thus, the servicing costs of the treatment device are also reduced.

Furthermore, the use of an electrodeless bulb reduces the chance that any heat from the bulb will heat up the product and therefore impair its quality or taste. This is in part due to the lack of electrodes (which can overheat), and the use of RF energy to excite the bulbs.

The skilled person will understand that (for less transmissive liquid products) the treatment device has the effect of disinfecting or cold-pasteurizing' the liquid product. That is, it achieves log phase reductions in the TVC, whilst reducing the chance that any heat from the bulb will heat up the product. Thus, alleviating a problem with the conventional heat-pasteurizing' technique.

According to a second aspect of the invention, there is provided a treatment device for treating a liquid product, comprising a first chamber for receiving the liquid product, including a first means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be substantially turbulent; a first RF energy source; and a first electrodeless plasma bulb, configured such that, in use, the first bulb is excited by the first RF energy source such that it irradiates the first chamber and treats the product.

The treatment device of the second aspect of the invention may further comprise a second chamber for receiving the liquid product, including a second means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be substantially turbulent; a second ElF energy source; a second electrodeless plasma bulb, configured such that, in use, the second bulb is excited by the second ElF energy source such that it irradiates the second chamber and treats the product; and an interconnecting chamber, for transporting the liquid product from the first chamber to the second chamber, including a third means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be substantially turbulent.

According to a third aspect of the invention, there is provided a treatment device for treating a liquid product, comprising a first chamber for receiving the liquid product; a second chamber for receiving the liquid product; an interconnecting chamber for transporting the liquid product from the first chamber to the second chamber, including means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be substantially turbulent; a first ElF energy source and a second ElF energy source; a first electrodeless plasma bulb, configured such that, in use, the first bulb is excited by the first ElF energy source such that it irradiates the first chamber and treats the liquid product; and a second electrodeless plasma bulb, configured such that, in use, the second bulb is excited by the second ElF energy source such that it irradiates the second chamber and treats the liquid product.

The first and/or second chamber of the treatment device of the third aspect of the invention may include a first or second means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be substantially turbulent, respectively.

The first, second or third means to encourage the flow of liquid to be substantially turbulent may be either a corrugated inner surface or a plurality of baffles.

The first or second electrodeless plasma bulb may be an air-cooled electrodeless plasma bulb. Thus, the treatment device may include a cooling fan, for drawing air over the electrodeless plasma bulb, thus further reducing the chances that the bulb will heat the product.

Embodiments of the invention will now be described, by way of example, and with reference to the drawings in which: Figure 1 is a top view of a treatment device of a first embodiment of the present invention; Figure 2 is a cross-sectional view of a first chamber of the treatment device of Figure 1; Figure 3 is a perspective view of the first chamber of Figure 2, showing a corrugated inner wall; and Figure 4 is a cross-sectional view of an interconnecting mixer of the treatment device of Figure 1.

A first embodiment of a treatment device 1 of the present invention will now be described with reference to Figures 1 to 4. In this embodiment, the treatment device 1 is for the treatment of liquid products, such as milk, soup, orange juice etc., to reduce the TVC of the liquid products, thus substantially increasing their shelf life.

As shown in Figure 1, the treatment device 1 includes a first treatment chamber 100 and a second treatment chamber 200. The first and second treatment chambers 100, 200 have a first and second RF power head 111, 211 respectively, a first and second fluid inlet 143, 243 respectively, and a first and second fluid outlet 144, 244 respectively. The first fluid outlet 144 is connected to the second fluid inlet 243 via an interconnecting mixer 150. Thus, the treatment device 1 includes a plurality of interconnected chambers 100, 200 for the fluid to pass through for sequential periods of treatment.

The first chamber 100 will now be described in more detail, with reference to Figures 2 to 3.

The skilled person will understand that the following description of the first chamber 100 substantially describes the configuration of any other chamber in the treatment device 1.

The first chamber includes a vessel 141, which is a hollow cylinder having a first and second flange 146a, 146b at either end. Mounted to one end of the vessel 141, is the RF power head 111 for producing a radio frequency wave. In this embodiment, the RF power head 111 includes a pulsing power supply and a magnetron launcher for producing a pulsed 2kW RFwave.

The first chamber 100 also includes an enclosure 133 mounted coaxially within the vessel 141. The enclosure 133 houses an antenna 122, a first and second antenna amplifier 1 23a, 123b, a first and second Xenon bulb 131a, 131b, a first and second bulb holder 132a, 132b and a conducting mesh 134. The enclosure 133 is constructed out of transparent quartz material.

The vessel also includes a fluid inlet 143 and fluid outlet 144. Therefore, fluid may flow into the vessel at the fluid inlet 143, over the transparent enclosure 133, and out of the fluid outlet 144. In this embodiment, the gap between the transparent enclosure 133 and the vessel 141 is around 25mm. However, in some applications, this gap may be more or less than 25mm.

The wave produced by the RE power head 111 is transmitted along a longitudinal axis of the first chamber 100 via the antenna 122, which is amplified by the antenna amplifiers 123a, 123b. The first and second Xenon bulbs 131a, 131b are positioned on thefirst and second bulb holders 132, such that they are substantially coaxial with the antenna 122. The Xenon bulbs 131a, 131b and the antenna 122 are enclosed by the conducting mesh 134 (which is also coaxial with the antenna 122). The conducting mesh 134 thus acts as a waveguide when the lamp is operational (that is, when the RF power head 111 is producing a RF wave which is transmitted along the antenna 122. The electric current passing through the antenna thus generates a magnetic field. The Xenon gas inside the Xenon bulbs 131a, 131 b is excited by the magnetic field, and light is emitted (in the form of High Intensity White Light) in response.

Therefore, the emitted light passes through the transparent enclosure 133, and irradiates the fluid passing through the vessel 141 over the enclosure 133. In this embodiment, the fluid is irradiated with light at an intensity of around 17000 Wm2. This has the effect of treating the fluid due to biochemical changes in its DNA. Specifically, it breaks adjacent pairs of a thymine-adenine bonds in the DNA cross chains (a reversible step), and then forms a dimer or peptide bond between the two thymine groups (an irreversible step).

The first chamber 100 is cooled via a cooling fan 124, which draws air through the first chamber 110 from an air inlet 125 to an air outlet 126.

Figure 3 shows the vessel 141 in more detail. In this embodiment, the vessel 141 includes a corrugated inner wall 149. This corrugated inner wall 149 encourages the flow of fluid through the first chamber 100 to be turbulent. This greatly improves the treatment efficiency of the first chamber 100, as it increases the likelihood of uniform irradiation of the fluid by the High Intensity White Light. This has the benefits of reducing treatment time, reducing the product volume contained in the first chamber 100, reducing fouling, and reducing the first chamber's 100 volume and weight.

The first fluid outlet 144 is connected to the second fluid inlet 243 by the interconnecting mixer 150. The interconnecting mixer 150 is shown in more detail in Figure 4. The interconnecting mixer 150 includes a plurality of baffles 155 extending across the flow path of the liquid product. This encourages turbulent flow of the liquid product, ensuring that it is well mixed and thus further increasing the likelihood of uniform irradiation of the liquid product when it passes through the second chamber 200.

The second chamber 200 operates in the same manner as the first chamber 100, thus treating the liquid product further by irradiating it with more High Intensity White Light.

The skilled person will understand that this embodiment of the present invention is not limited to the use of a first and second chamber only. That is, the present invention may use any number of interconnected chambers, for sequential treatment of liquid product.

In the above embodiment, the Xenon bulbs are excited by virtue of a 2kW RE signal produced by the RF power head. However, the skilled person will understand that the present invention is not limited to this configuration. That is, the magnetron may produce up to 8kW at a maximum duty factor of 20%. Furthermore, the pulses may be produced from microseconds to 2500 microseconds, at a frequency of from 400Hz to 10kHz.

Alternatively, the magnetron may be operated in continuous mode, producing a continuous radio wave at 2.45GHz, from 1 BOWrf to 1 600Wrf.

In the above embodiment the Xenon bulbs produce polychromatic light in the range from lOOnm to llOOnm in wavelength. The skilled person will know that the dominant wavelength may be adjusted by the altering the bulb ingredients gas fill, mercury content and pressure.

The Xenon bulbs may be from 150mm to 2000mm long, and have a diameter between 15mm and 80mm, are made from synthetic quartz and have a peak operating energy between 50 Watts and 10,000 Waifs.

The skilled person will also understand that the present invention is not limited to the use of Xenon bulbs. However, any form of plasma bulb for irradiating and treating the liquid product may be used.

The skilled person will understand that any combination of features is possible without departing from the scope of the invention, as claimed.

Claims (1)

  1. <claim-text>CLAIMS1. A treatment device for treating a liquid product, comprising a first chamber for receiving the liquid product, including a first means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be substantially turbulent; a second chamber for receiving the liquid product, including a second means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be substantially turbulent; an interconnecting chamber, for transporting the liquid product from the first chamber to the second chamber, including a third means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be substantially turbulent; a first RF energy source and a second RF energy source; a first electrodeless plasma bulb, configured such that, in use, the first bulb is excited by the first RF energy source such that it irradiates the first chamber and treats the liquid product; and a second electrodeless plasma bulb, configured such that, in use, the second bulb is excited by the second RF energy source such that it irradiates the second chamber and treats the liquid product.</claim-text> <claim-text>2. A treatment device as claimed in Claim 1, wherein the first means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be substantially turbulent is a corrugated inner suface.</claim-text> <claim-text>3. A treatment device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the second means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be substantially turbulent is a corrugated inner suface.</claim-text> <claim-text>4. A treatment device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the third means to encourage the flow of liquid product to be substantially turbulent is a plurality of baffles.</claim-text> <claim-text>5. A treatment device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the first electrodeless plasma bulb is an air-cooled electrodeless plasma bulb.</claim-text> <claim-text>6. A treatment device as claimed in any preceding claim, wherein the second electrodeless plasma bulb is an air-cooled electrodeless plasma bulb.</claim-text> <claim-text>7. A treatment device substantially as herein described with reference to and as shown in the accompanying drawings.</claim-text>
GB201117173A 2011-10-05 2011-10-05 Treatment device for liquid products Withdrawn GB2495481A (en)

Priority Applications (1)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB201117173A GB2495481A (en) 2011-10-05 2011-10-05 Treatment device for liquid products

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Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
GB201117173A GB2495481A (en) 2011-10-05 2011-10-05 Treatment device for liquid products

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GB2495481A true GB2495481A (en) 2013-04-17

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Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5900211A (en) * 1995-10-26 1999-05-04 Purepulse Technologies Deactivation of organisms using high-intensity pulsed polychromatic light
US6433344B1 (en) * 1996-05-22 2002-08-13 Purepulse Technologies, Inc. Pulsed light sterilization of drinking water and drinking water containers
US20030044311A1 (en) * 2001-07-06 2003-03-06 John Sousa Applications for use of pulsed light

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5900211A (en) * 1995-10-26 1999-05-04 Purepulse Technologies Deactivation of organisms using high-intensity pulsed polychromatic light
US6433344B1 (en) * 1996-05-22 2002-08-13 Purepulse Technologies, Inc. Pulsed light sterilization of drinking water and drinking water containers
US20030044311A1 (en) * 2001-07-06 2003-03-06 John Sousa Applications for use of pulsed light

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Publication number Publication date
GB201117173D0 (en) 2011-11-16

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