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UV-C Microbial meat reductions –In-pack pork tenderloin

Cuts of pork tenderloin were inoculated with Listeria monocytogenes before being vacuum shrink wrapped and treated with various doses of UV-C iradiation to determine the microbial reduction.


UV-C treatment of meat in pack can potentially increase the safety of food with minimal risk of post process contamination. The trial assessed the feasability of UV-C for in-pack decontamination. The lowest dose for maximum microbial reductions was assessed.

Main conclusions

Log reductions averaging 0.4 log achieved for 80 mJ/cm2, higher average reductions of 0.77 and 0.64 was achieved for 160 and 320 mJ/cm2, respectively.

Variations in log reductions in samples were believed to be due to the different surface topology between individual samples.


Pork tenderloins were purchased from a local UK butcher. The loins were cut to obtain 3samples per loin, with a average weight of around 0.25kg per sample.

The pork was spray inoculated on the outside of the loin with an initial load of around 3log CFU/100 ml of L.monocytogenes.

The pork was then vacuum packed shrink wrapped by exposing the packaging to 85°C for 2sin UV-C transmisable packaging (around 65% UV-C transmission).

The packaged pork was then passed through a UV-C tunnel delivering UV-C doses of 80,160and 320mJ/cm2inside the pack with 3 relicates per dose and 3 control samples.

The level of microorganims on the treated porkwere compared to the control samples to determine the log reduction achieved.

What was investigated/ examined/ measured

The average microbial reduction achieved for each UV-C dose.

Parameter 1 Population of L.monocytogenes on treated pork(sprayinoculation

  • 80 mJ/cm2–0.4±0.4CFU/100 ml reduction
  • 160 mJ/cm2–0.77±0.38CFU/100 ml reduction
  • 320 mJ/cm2–0.64±0.56CFU/100 ml reduction

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Contact persons

Danny Bayliss

New Technology Research Manager
+44 (0) 1386 842130

Robbie McGill

Process Technologist
+44 (0) 1386 84 2464