Pulsed light is a surface preservation method in which a material is subjected to very short pulses (of the order of
milliseconds) of broad-spectrum white light. The spectrum of light is typically between 200 and 1100 nm and includes UV, visible and infrared
components. The product is typically exposed to 1-20 pulses having an energy density in the range of 0.01 – 50 J.cm–2 at the surface.
Potential applications for pulsed light in the food industry include the decontamination of packaging surfaces and of
transmissive materials such as water. Applications for food are likely to include surface treatment of relatively short shelf-life products that
are susceptible to mould growth such as baked goods. A relatively modest reduction in microbial numbers could offer a significant shelf-life
extension for very short-shelf life products.
Trials at Campden BRI have determined that a 1-3 log reduction in total viable counts is typically achievable on food
surfaces such as meat, cheese and fruit (R&D 281 Shaw et.al. 2009) and similar results have been reported by other groups.
Campden BRI currently has a Claranor pulsed light system on site for research and private contract services. Claranor
has had some success in the sale of pulsed light systems for the food industry where their technology is installed for treating packaging such as
caps and cups.