Technilamp specialises in the design, manufacture, assembly, installation and maintenance of customised equipment to disinfect against harmful pathogens and extend the shelf life of fresh foods. The company works closely with Philips Lighting in all aspects of the design and functionality of the equipment.
The discovery of Listeriosis in a leading FMCG meat processing plant in 2017, and more recently the Salmonella outbreak in Natal, highlights the continuous threat food companies face in terms of reputational risk and loss of profits should an outbreak occur.
Whilst the use of chemicals is often promulgated as the panacea for solving the disinfection of pathogens in the food processing industry, recent events have proven otherwise. An often misunderstood technology is the use of UV-C in the disinfection of foods and the sterilisation of the air and food surfaces in areas in which these foods are processed.
UV-C has proven to be highly effective in the medical industry for over a century. The technology is not lectured at universities or Technikons, hence the limited understanding of this use of the technology amongst Food Quality Managers.
In recent times, as more and more types of pathogens have become immune to the use of chemicals, the use of UV-C in high-risk areas has proven to be highly effective. This technology, in South Africa particularly, has been used in commercial bakeries, soft fruits, nuts, meat and in fish processing industries to remove pathogens and increase the shelf life of product offerings. It is safe, provided that the correct design and safety procedures are used.
The technology is highly effective in sterilising the air and in the disinfecting of working surfaces and packaging areas, providing continuous disinfection. Often the most effective use of UV-C disinfection is immediately prior to final packing.
The exposure of UV-C to food is a perfectly natural process with no effect on discolouration. The use of this technology requires minimal maintenance with only monthly cleaning of lamps and their replacement every one to two years, depending on usage.
The use of UV-C is an invisible entity to the human eye, yet the technology delivers a continuous, effective, low cost and natural process to disinfecting all forms of pathogens, whether in the air or on surfaces in the processing environment. The technology delivers a level of disinfection protection that increases the shelf-life and protects and enhances the reputation of companies against any potential loss of profits.