Juice Irradiation with Taylor-Couette Flow: UV Inactivation of Escherichia coli

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A novel reactor is described with flow characteristics that approach that of ideal plug flow but with a residence time that is uncoupled from the hydrodynamics or boundary layer characteristics. The design described consists of an inner cylinder that rotates within a stationary but larger outer cylinder. At low rotation rates, a laminar, hydrodynamic configuration called Taylor-Couette flow is established, which consists of a system of circumferential vortices within the annular fluid gap. The latter constitutes a spatially periodic flow that is the hydrodynamic equivalent to cross flow over a tube bank or lamp array. These vortices provide radial mixing, reduce the boundary layer thickness, and are independent of the axial flow rate and thus the fluid residence time. An additional feature of the rotating design is the repetitive exposure of the fluid parcels to a minimum number of lamps, which substantially reduces the maintenance requirements. Inactivation data for Escherichia coli (ATCC 15597) were recorded in commercial apple and grape juice that are relatively opaque to UV radiation. With initial E. coli concentrations of approximately 106 CFU/ml, Taylor-Couette flow was found to provide a 3- to 5-log improvement in the inactivation efficiency compared with simple channel flow between concentric cylinders.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia 30332 2: Electro-Optics, Environment, and Materials Laboratory-Food Processing Technology Division, Georgia Tech Research Institute, Atlanta, Georgia 30332, USA

Publication date: November 1, 2004

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