How UV-C Disinfection Works

Microbiological Principles

Micro-organisms are microscopically small. They are everywhere and have an extremely high metabolism. For example, in hot and humid weather the number of moulds and bacteria increases exponentially.

Furthermore, micro-organisms produce mucus substances that are deposited on surfaces and can contaminate food and cause microbial decay of the products.

The cell nucleus of micro-organisms contains thymine, a chemical element of the DNA / RNA. This element absorbs UV-C light at a specific wavelength of 253.7 nm and changes to such an extent (formation of thymine dimers) that the cell is no longer capable of multiplying and surviving.

The Process

  • UV-C light at an optimal wavelength of 253.7nm penetrates the cell wall of the micro-organism
  • The high energy photons of the UV-C light are absorbed by the cell proteins and DNA / RNA
  • UV-C damages the protein structure causing metabolic disruption
  • DNA is chemically altered so organisms can no longer replicate
  • Organisms are unable to metabolise and replicate. They cannot cause disease or spoilage
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