Pulsed UV-light treatment of corn meal for inactivation of Aspergillus niger spores

Authors

  • Soojin Jun,

    1.  Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Penn State University, University Park, PA, USA
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  • Joseph Irudayaraj,

    Corresponding author
    1.  Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Penn State University, University Park, PA, USA
      * Fax: +1 814 863 1031;
      e-mail: josephi@psu.edu
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  • Ali Demirci,

    1.  Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Penn State University, University Park, PA, USA
    2.  Life Sciences Consortium, Penn State University, University Park, 16802, PA, USA
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  • David Geiser

    1.  Department of Plant Pathology, Penn State University, University Park, PA, USA
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* Fax: +1 814 863 1031;
e-mail: josephi@psu.edu

Summary

Fungal contamination of grains, intended for human and animal consumption, during the pre/post-harvest periods has been a recurring health hazard. A pulsed UV-light system was used to inactivate fungal spores of Aspergillus niger in corn meal. Response surface methodology was utilized for experimental design. The three process parameters evaluated were treatment time (20–100 s), voltage input (2000–3800 V), and distance from the UV strobe (3–13 cm). Optimization of the process parameters was validated by a quadratic regression equation designed to fit the experimental log10 reduction of fungal spores. Model prediction for a 100-s treatment time, 3 cm of distance from the UV strobe, and with 3800 V input gave a 4.93log10 reduction of A. niger. Modification of the pulsed UV-light system was recommended to maximize the UV fungal disinfection while minimizing the heat generation.

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