Denmark-Based Lyras Introduces UV Light Pasteurization To U.S. Dairy Industry

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Source: Lyras news release

U.S. dairy processors can soon pasteurize milk and other non-transparent liquids with patented ultraviolet (UV) light technology that uses 90% less energy and more than 60% less water than traditional heat/cool pasteurization processes. Introduced to the U.S. market today by Lyras, Inc., the safe and sustainable cold pasteurization solution inactivates bacteria without heating the liquid, preserving its natural flavor and extending its shelf life, all while reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the need for water and expensive cleaning chemicals and equipment.

With Lyras’ technology, dairy processors quickly experience lower operating costs, higher product quality, more uptime and stronger compliance with environmentally friendly initiatives.

“Our claims might sound grand, but our studies show that if the global dairy industry switches to our patent protected UV light pasteurization process, we could-each year-save at least 40 million barrels of crude oil and enough drinking water to meet the needs of 45 million people,” said Rasmus Mortensen, CEO and founder of Lyras. “That doesn’t include all of the pipes, tanks and cleaners that would no longer be needed. If you add the use of this technology on juices, wine, beer and other liquids, there’s potential for even greater environmental savings.”

UV Light “As Effective As Heat,” Research Shows
Traditional pasteurization processes throughout much of the United States and other countries heat milk up to 162 degrees Farenheit for at least 15 seconds or 150 degrees Farenheit for 30 minutes before it is then rapidly cooled. Both temperature shifts require significant energy and water resources.

To eliminate waste and expedite the overall pasteurization process without reducing quality, Lyras looked to UV light, a reliable and stable method used to eliminate bacteria, spores, viruses, and other microorganisms in drinking water for more than 100 years. Until recently, however, UV light has been incapable of treating less transparent liquids such as milk to asatisfactory level.

Tatiana Koutchma, PhD, a research scientist for Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, has studied UV light for low UV transparent (UVT) liquids and beverages for nearly 20 years and has worked with manufacturers aiming to develop nonthermal methods to process both liquid and solid food products.

“We’ve long known that UV light can disinfect water, but as we’re learning, with the right methods, UV light is also capable of preserving and improving safety of other less transparent liquids such as milk and juice products. UV is as effective as heat against food borne pathogen and spoilage organisms, but it requires less energy and water, has no effect on taste and flavor, and actually extends the shelf-life of the liquids,” said Koutchma.

Lyras has devoted the last six years to extending the capabilities of UV light with a patent-protected light filter. This filter lets through only the precise UV wavelengths needed to remove microorganisms in milk without heating or cooling it and inactivate even the most hardy thermoresistant bacteria and spores without compromising product quality.

“Our goal is to make a real difference in the worldwide dairy industry by creating significant CO2 savings,” said Mortensen, who has won a series of awards for Lyras such as the Climate Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 and a regional EY Entrepreneur of The Year, “We’ll know we’re successful when we see our customers have greatly reduced their energy, water and chemical consumption with our safe and energy-saving technology. The more we grow, the greater green transformation we can help create. That is our true motivation and the future of pasteurization.”

To view the video on Lyras’ pasteurization technology, click here.