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UV-C irradiation of freshly squeezed grape juice and modeling inactivation kinetics
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UV inactivation kinetics of freshly squeezed turbid white grape juice (FSTGJ) treated with an annular flow UV reactor by applying UV dosages ranging from 0 to 116.7J/mL, at three different flow rates (0.90, 1.75 and 3.70mL/s), were modeled by using log-linear, Weibull, Hom and modified Chick-Watson models. FSTGJ was circulated five times in the UV system, i.e., UV exposure time was 20.33min during processing. The populations of Escherichia coli K-12, lactic acid bacteria (LAB) and foodborne yeasts were reduced by 3.759, 4.133 and 1.604log cfu/mL, respectively, after exposure to UV dosage of 116.7J/mL at the lowest flow rate. The inactivation kinetics of foodborne yeasts were best described by the modified Chick-Watson model, with the least root mean squared error (RMSE=0.001, R2=0.999). Besides, the inactivation kinetics of E.coli K-12 and LAB were best fitted by Weibull model (R2=0.999). Additionally, when the UV exposure time was increased up to 32.5min (i.e., eight cycles), UV-C treatment of FSTGJ resulted in 5.341log cfu/mL reduction in E.coli K-12, which meets the Food and Drug Administration requirement of a 5log reduction of microorganisms in fruit juices. Practical Applications Consumer demand for high-quality fruit juice with fresh-like characteristics has markedly expanded in recent years. UV-C irradiation is a nonthermal method and allows the processing of fruit juices with a minimal or no changes in flavor, essential nutrients and vitamins. Although thermal pasteurization is the most convenient way of increasing the shelf life of fruit juices, it causes a "cook taste" in grape juice. So, in this study, the application of UV-C irradiation to process grape juice was investigated. The shape of the microbial inactivation curve is sigmoidal in UV treatment. Therefore, different kinetic models (e.g., log-linear, Weibull, Hom and modified Chick-Watson) are applied to describe the inactivation kinetics of Escherichia coli K-12, lactic acid bacteria and foodborne yeasts. Kinetic parameters (e.g., k and D) and models can be used for the development of UV-C irradiation process to ensure microbial safety in juice products.