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How is the Asia Pacific Food & Beverage market taking to UV water treatment technology?

By Poorna Rajendran – AP Regional Manager

The Asia Pacific (AP) region (outside of China and India) includes some of the fastest growing economies in the world. With rising incomes and continued population growth, demand for food and beverage products continues to rise. Coinciding with an increase in demand is a rise in manufacturing standards and quality levels.

To support this, many of the food and beverage brands produced in the AP region (for both local and global consumption) continue to improve their water treatment processes. This ensures they comply with the stringent health and safety regulations, address rising health consciousness of the consumers and eliminate contamination risks that could lead to product recalls.

UV disinfection technology is one beneficiary of these improvements and by 2020 the UV equipment market is estimated to be worth $27m USD, with a forecasted 12.5% CAGR since 2015. Food and beverage manufacturing is the largest market for UV equipment, which not only includes water treatment, but also air and surface treatment.

Improved water treatment is the key driver for UV market growth. Water is a key ingredient in the food and beverage manufacturing process and its integrity is essential to manufacturers looking to maintain quality, consistency, maximise operation efficiency and, ultimately, protect their brand and maximise profitability.

Food and beverage manufacturing concern:

There are currently a number of Asian Pacific food and beverage manufacturers concerned about the conventional UV systems installed in their facilities because they fail to provide the necessary control of disinfection performance. Some of these systems have been installed without an UV sensor to measure the intensity and/or fail to provide the absolute dose in ‘mJ/cm2’ on the control panel display. The UV dose is in fact the most important value to the user because it provides the energy required for efficient and effective process water disinfection.

See below pictures of some conventional UV systems:

The importance of dose:

Before sizing a UV system for a specific application there is a need to identify the log reduction required for a target microorganism. This will enable an accurate dose to be applied. However, before the UV dose is calculated, other key parameters must be understood. To work out the correct UV dose required, ‘intensity’, measured in mW/cm2, must be multiplied by the time the water is exposed to UV light in the chamber. This can be established from the flow rate, which is measured in m3/hr.

(Dose = Intensity x Time).

So, let’s have a look at these parameters in more detail:

  • Dose – This is the ultimate parameter that needs to be displayed on the UV system panel, providing the operator insurance that the required dose is being delivered. Whatever the target microorganism is, a certain log reduction must be achieved. For example, if the application is targeting a 4-log reduction of ‘cryptosporidium’, the system is looking to achieve a 99.99% reduction. If it is a 3-log reduction, then it would be a 99.9% reduction. Every microorganism has varied sensitivity levels, but to increase from a 3 to 4 -log reduction often requires a lot more additional energy than you would need to move from a 2 to a 3-log reduction. The increase in energy required is never linear.
  • Intensity – The light energy transmitted through the process water in the chamber from the lamp is measured on the wall of the chamber. This provides the first parameter to work out dose, as per the equation ‘Dose = Intensity x Time’. However, the UV transmittance of the water must be carefully considered, as it can vary. This is known as UVT and is shown as a percentage. The lower the UVT value, the lower the intensity reading, because there are more organics in the water absorbing the light. To read about UVT, click here.
  • Time – Every plant will have a specific flow rate into the UV chamber and this needs to be known as it will determine how long the water will be in contact with the UV light. Throughout a chamber the flow rate is never the same and there will be slow tracks and faster tracks that receive less exposure time. This needs to be measured using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software and will provide the last key parameter to calculate the required UV dose.

The UV system standard:

Hanovia has supplied UV systems in the AP region for several decades. These systems are used by bottled water plants, carbonated soft drinks manufacturers, breweries and dairy industries as a firewall for source water protection and post treatment after carbon, reverse osmosis and other filtration methods.

Hanovia can assure bio-security for food and beverage product manufacturers because its UV systems are optimized for the specific intended application.

  • Hanovia will recommend a UV dose, measured in mJ/cm2, based on a comprehensive review of the customer’s application.
  • Whether a low pressure or medium pressure UV system is to be installed, the system must incorporate an intensity sensor.
  • To maintain optimum performance, an auto wiper is required to clean the quartz sleeve shielding the lamp. This allows for maximum intensity to be transmitted.
  • The UV system control panel provides a real-time display of an absolute dose (mJ/cm2) that allows the operator to measure and control the performance of the UV disinfection system.
  • A good aftermarket support plan, such as the Hanovia UV Care program, is required to provide users with a periodic audit, UV sensor re-calibration, traceability and documentation.
  • To have complete confidence of biosecurity, a third-party validation certificate from an USEPA or DVGW independent testing body will guarantee the disinfection performance of the UV system. The Hanovia PureLine ‘Performance Qualified’ (PQ) range has been validated in accordance with USEPA and the UVDGM (2006) protocols

Dose Display

If you would like further information on UV disinfection systems and the required parameters for sizing a system for your application, please contact the Hanovia AP office in Singapore or the Asia head office in Shanghai. The Hanovia UVCare program is available to support customers in the region. Hanovia support is structured into three tiers. Tier 1 support is provided by Hanovia’s local partners, who are all fully trained and certified. These are backed by Tier 2 support provided by the Hanovia teams in Singapore and Shanghai offices. Tier 3 consists of Hanovia’s unique research and development service, located in our innovation centre in the UK.