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P a r t icu la r F ea t u r es of t he P u lse L igh t St er ilizer (“ P u lse Bea m er ” ) a n d it s Su p er ior it y
April 1, 2005 ECONOS JAPAN CO., LTD.

491-1, Yoshisawa, Kikugawa-shi, Shizuoka Pref. Japan TEL: 0537-35-0667 FAX: 0668 Technology Dept. FAX: 0669 1. Introduction

(Now is the Time for the Transition from UV to Pulse!)
Light sterilization using the so-called Ultraviolet Sterilizing Lamp (“UV”) consisting of a low-voltage mercury lamp emitting a bright line spectrum at 253.7nm has been employed for a long time as the only method of sterilization with light. In recent years, however, sterilizing equipment has to meet more exacting demands as food production lines have been upgraded to increasingly higher speed performance and the needs for sterilization have become more sophisticated. Sterilizing equipment is required “to achieve reliable and unfailing sterilization in an extremely short time, in other words, they must offer short-time high-efficiency sterilizing performance.” Since UV sterilization (UV) does require a certain amount of time to sterilize, it is now difficult to meet these more sophisticated needs with UV. We are seeing a shift from a time where the mere use of a sterilizing system was all that was needed to a new era that demands reliable, unfailing sterilization in a short moment of only a few seconds. We are also witnessing an extension in the scope of sterilized microbes to highly resistant lactic bacilli and spore bearing bacterium such as molds. To achieve adequate sterilization with UV, a long sterilizing line is required. The problem with the UV sterilizing system is that while it produces a sterilizing effect the long time required to achieve this sterilizing effect leads to significant damage to the sterilized product in terms of protein degeneration and odor alteration due to the prolonged exposure to radiation. For this reason, attention is now focused on the pulse light sterilizer (“Pulse Beamer”) which has a high sterilizing capability and high performance within a short time. The Pulse Beamer generates a continuous flash light by converting the electrically stored energy to light in a wide wavelength range. With this instantaneous flashlight energy (equivalent to roughly twenty thousand times that of the UV (65W)), the revolutionary Pulse Beamer, fully aligned with present day needs, is capable of sterilizing micr oorganism, including bacteria and molds, in an extremely short time of less than a second. At present, this high sterilizing effect of the Pulse Beamer comes PET bottle cap sterilizing process into its own in all areas. It is therefore progressively used for surface sterilization in a wide range of applications, including food surface and container surface sterilization. The basis technology for pulse light sterilization goes back to the 1980s when Ushio Inc. took out a patent on a sterilizing method using xenon gas flashlight emission. After this, Maxwell Technologies, Inc. and its subsidiary Pure Pulse Technologies, Inc. developed the technology for commercial application in the form of the Pure Bright Pulse Light Process. The Food and Drug Administration of the United States (FDA) approved the flashlight irradiation process for controlling microorganisms on food surfaces in August 1996. The ECONOS Pulse Light Sterilizer is the result of a long process of original technology research. Its commercial name is “Pulse Beamer.” In Japan, it is the only pulse light sterilizing system that has been commercially developed and that has gained a high level of acclaim mainly in the food industry. 1
Photo 1

the absorption peak of DNA.1. 2 . however.000 times the impact of UV (equivalent to 65W).Pulse Light Wavelength Characteristics (200 . The unique feature of the Pulse Beamer. Electron microscopy of the microbial surface after pulse light irradiation reveals evidence of damage and destruction on the microbial surface that can be attributed to heat attrition. Its major advantage is that despite this dramatic output. 1 shows the spectral distribution of this powerful continuous flashlight (electromagnetic wave).co.000 times the impact force of UV (equivalent to 65W)) The Pulse Beamer applies a high voltage to the xenon lamp’s electrodes to generate powerful light energy (electromagnetic waves) produced through xenon gas discharge in the form of a continuous flashlight at intervals of roughly five times per second. Fig. This suggests that the Pulse Beamer achieves the synergism of two effects: DNA destruction effect by the overwhelmingly powerful instantaneous ultraviolet radiation energy that is roughly 20.jp 2. Principle of Light Emission and Mechanism of Sterilization (Ultraviolet light (DNA destruction) and infrared light (heat rays) act together to produce a powerful double-hammer effect!) (20. Fig. The application of this pulse light as a continuous flashlight produces a surprisingly potent sterilization effect even on the fungi or spore bearing bacterium that are both difficult to sterilize.950 nm) Spectral distribution in the absence of materials traversed by the beam (QSO-130380.co. It can be seen that this energy has two characteristic peaks: one in the broad ultraviolet range (200 . with the harmful microorganisms being pounded with this hammer many times a second. it consumes relatively little power. is that whereas the UV has a single wavelength at 254 nm in its emission spectrum.000 times that of UV (equivalent to 65W). 2001) Near UV range Visible light spectrum Near IR range Pulse spectrum distribution UV lamp’s wavelength: 254 nm 200nm 300nm 400nm 500nm 600nm 700nm 800nm 900nm The sterilization mechanism in the ultraviolet range is essentially the same as with the UV and is based on the killing effect of ultraviolet light on the DNA. Power supply: 2. The hammering effect of the Pulse Beamer can be imagined by likening it to the action of an overwhelmingly powerful electromagnetic “hammer” with a peak and integral value at the time of emission roughly equal to 20. the Pulse Beamer generates an instantaneous energy that is roughly 20. peaking at 265 nm. 7. Apr. Moreover.300 nm) and the other one in the near-infrared (heat rays) region.2 kV. These two peaks combine to produce a synergic effect resulting in a dramatic sterilizing action.jp E -ma il: econ os@econ os.econos. This accounts for the overwhelmingly destructive power of the pulse light beam.000 times stronger than the UV (equivalent to 65W) and the destructive heat rays effect due to its near-infrared radiation.ECONOS tel0537-35-0667 F a x0669 URL http: //www. The pulse light beam has another mechanism based on the destructive potential of its near-infrared radiation: the heat rays effect. the pulse beam is most effective in destroying DNA because of its emission over the entire ultraviolet range from 200 to 300 nm.

cooling unit and control panel.econos. Photo 2 shows an integral system consisting of the power supply unit. more than double the line space was necessary. Equipment Structure (Small sterilizer section but somewhat bigger peripherals) The Pulse Beamer consists of a light emitter.4 seconds! (7 irradiation passes) (UV sterilization at 65W has almost no effect on these microorganisms and requires irradiation for 4.Space-saving) The Pulse Beamer has many outstanding features the conventional UV sterilizer did not possess.4 Peak Wavelength 0.co.7 0. the Pulse Beamer can make do with a mere 0.1 0 DNA Absorptivity Peak (265nm) Wavelength distribution of the pulse light in the ultr aviolet spectr um r ange Relative Absorptivity vø[þ T8SÎ s‡ 220 225 230 235 240 245 250 255 260 265 270 275 280 285 290 295 300 305 310 315 320 Wavelength (nmÿ lâ •w(nm) 3.jp E -ma il: econ os@econ os.Powerful . 1/1000 3D effect on aspergillus niger in a mere 1. cooling unit.8 0.6 0.jp Fig.) 0ûEasy to install on to an existing line. no unproductive waiting time for startup and light emission is required.Control Box 4. 3 . 0ûInstantaneous startup and immediate sterilizing action. 0ûOperates as the line is switched on and off 0ûNo unproductive light emission 0ûNo mechanisms such as shutters required %Î Virtually no damage on the sterilized product 0ûImparts almost no odor and causes almost no degeneration.ECONOS tel0537-35-0667 F a x0669 URL http: //www. The main features are summarized below: %Î Instantaneous. %Î Lower running costs than the UV 0ûStriking difference from the UV in terms of lamp replacement costs 0ûOutstanding difference from the UV when considering the difference in sterilizing effect 0ûThe Pulse Beamer also has a relatively low energy consumption.8 seconds! (4 irradiation passes) 0ûApprox. powerful sterilizing action 0ûApprox.3 (254 nm) in UV 0.2m) of space.co. While the Pulse Beamer’s emitter (sterilizing unit) can be made compact the accessory equipment does require a certain amount of installation space because a large-capacity condenser is required to generate the high instantaneous energy. Photo 2 .) %Î Space-saving benefits in a sterilizing line 0ûFor a cap sterilizing line at a throughput of 600 bpm.9 0. 1/3000 4D effect on bacilli in a mere 0. (With the UV 400W water-cooled system. 2 . and a control panel for controlling these units.5 0. %Î In contrast to the UV.0 seconds or even longer in a 400W water-cooled system.Characteristic DNA Absorptivity /Wavelength 1 0. Particular Features (Instantaneous .5 m (unit length: 1.2 Spectr um Distr ibution 0. power supply unit.

1/3000 4D effect on bacilli in a mere 0. 5V 0R R_ Œ .) 10V Þ2.jp 5. Comparison of the Pulse Light Sterilizer with other sterilizing systems (A strong case for the Pulse Beamer!) Pulse Sterilizer Sterilization range Bacteria in general Fungi Spores Quality assurance Treatment time Equipment space Influence on peripheral equipment Initial costs Running costs Miscellaneous Ultraviolet sterilization Chemical sterilization Thermal sterilization %Ë %Ë %Ë × × (Deterioration of flavor and color) × (Several tens of minutes needed) × ÿCooling process requiredÿ × %³ %³ %³ (Effective on surface only) (Effective on surface only) (Effective on surface only) %Ë %Ë %Ë %Ë × %³ %Ë × %³ %Ë %³ %³ (Degeneration.) 4 After 60 min. Sterilizing Effect (Instantaneous.ECONOS tel0537-35-0667 F a x0669 URL http: //www. Sterilizing test using0¹ 0Ó Pulse Beamer on 0«0Ó ƒÌ Šf š 0Ñ0ë the 0ü0Þ0ü0k0ˆ0‹žÒž¹ Aspergillus niger kº Number of irradiation passes (sec. 2 After 20 60 min.8 seconds!! (4 irradiation passes). powerful sterilizing action!!) Approx. of irradiation passes (sec.4 seconds 100% sterilization effect in 7 passes UV is not effective even after irradiation for 5.0 yÒ 5 times) (1. 1/1000 3D effect on aspergillus niger in a mere 1.) vs. as can be seen in the figures below. Approx. Sciences t° Xƒ yÑ[f 0»0ó0¿0ü Analysis by: Kitasato Res. it has not been possible to confirm a 1/10 or higher effect even after irradiation for 5.) With the Pulse Beamer.0 sec. ( 0 yÒ) 10 times (2. it is possible to achieve a high sterilizing effect even for Aspergillus niger (bread mold) which is known to have a high resistance to ultraviolet light.0 seconds.4 seconds!! (7 irradiation passes) (In the case of UV sterilization using 4 lamps of 65W each. 10 R qg\ VÞ ep(yÒ ep) No. 5yÒ _Œ After _Œ _Œ n cont.) Analysis by: Kitasato Res. Sterilizing power qg\ VÞ (yÒep )0hkº ƒÌ R› ep Live bacteria u ƒÌ ep(ÿ# ÿ5 ÿ& count (CFU)) 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 1100 Live ep(ÿ# ÿ5 u ƒÌ bacteriaÿ ÿ& count (CFU) Sterilizing test using UV at 5-second irradiation on Aspergillus niger Sterilizing power0k0ˆ0‹žÒž¹ 0«0Ó ƒÌ Šf š ÿ5ÿ6 yÒqg\ at each time interval after ÿ kº irradiation with po_Œlamps of 65W eachƒÌ R› 4 UV }L•NfB•“ 0T0h0nkº 65w4po0é0ó0×p¹ 2000 1800 1600 1400 1200 1000 800 600 400 200 0 co 1900 1700 1700 870 600 27 Þ1 ( . (Residue problem) imparting of odor) %Ë %³ × ÿTreatable in a few (Several minutes (Several tens of minutes secondsÿ needed needed) %Ë %³ %Ë ÿNo cooling process ÿNo cooling process (Several tens of minutes requiredÿ requiredÿ needed) %Ë %³ %Ë %³ %Ë %Ë %³ Effect %³ × × × Effluent problem [Reference: Food Industry] 6. Pulse beam in a mere 1.co.co.econos. Not capable of sterilizing in a short time.0 seconds. nt After 10 min.) co cont.t 5 sec. Sciences R g• :(Œ¡ ‘Ì t° Xƒ )S yÑ[f 0»0ó0¿0ü T p¹ po}L•NfB•“ _Œ yÒ ƒÌ ÿ kº Sterilization for 5 seconds after each time interval R g• :(Œ¡)S ‘ÌCenter of Environ.jp E -ma il: econ os@econ os. Center of Environ..) 7V Þ1 ( .4 sec.4 yÒ 7 times) 0 0 (1. (A UV system without temperature control decreases its sterilizing power because the sterilizing beam diminishes with increase in temperature.0 sec.

1.000 yen/year ÿ 637.8Kw×5000 hours×18yen /Kwh×0. we have made our statistical evaluations on the basis of the minimum lamp life encountered so far.5 times /year ÿ 4.8kW (Rated 5 kW) $cAvailability 100% 85% (Actual measurement value) . we have here compared the Pulse Beamer with the 400 W water-cooled UV system that has a higher sterilizing effect than the 65 W system although it is still not up to the performance level of the Pulse Beamer. water-cooling unit) 1.800. the prolonged exposure of the cap to UV required would result in problem associated with cap deterioration.ECONOS tel0537-35-0667 F a x0669 URL http: //www. On a cap sterilizing line (operating at a throughput rate of 600 bottles per minute). It has almost no effect on fungi or molds.g.0m space (the actual lamp length is 0.500 yen/year Total costs approx. $` Power supply 200V AC 200V AC $aLamp 400W x 2 x 2 in-series units Equiv. Continuous light emission while line . As a result. It can therefore be relied upon to achieve its sterilizing task.700 yen/year ÿ! Lamp replacement costs 5000 hours /year÷2000 hours /time 5000 h. To achieve the same effect. in particular. Line Conditions $` Sterilized work: Ø 28 PET bottle caps/inner surfaces of bottle caps $a Line used: PET beverage bottle fed at a speed of 600 bottles /minute: Filling line.econos. For the time being. 9.000 yen/each (fixed cost) 150. the Pulse Beamer offers major space-saving benefits as it can make do with only about 1.jp E -ma il: econ os@econ os. $dLife of lamp 2000 hours 1000 hours (Guaranteed 800 hours) $eUnit price of lamp 180.249. we offer a guaranteed lamp life of 800 hours until our actual performance data is collected 1000 units or more.jp 8.000 yen/unitÿType Bÿ×4. however. the frequency at which the lamp emits light within a second) and also variations in the lamp’s manufacturing process. While this present absolutely no problem in terms of the sterilizing effect there are certain variations in the lamp’s endurance as a function of the operating conditions (e. its attenuation rate for the near-260nm wavelength corresponding to the DNA absorption peak is around 5%.800 yen/year It is clear from the above that the Pulse Beamer has an overwhelmingly powerful sterilizing effect and also marks a revolutionary advance on the UV system in terms of its low running costs./year×0.5 times/yearÿ units/year 1 unit×4.) Rationale for Guaranteeing a Lamp Life of 800 hours As can be seen in the figure below. Work speed: 320 mm/sec. Comparison of Running Costs UV Sterilizer for caps Pulse Beamer Equipment Spec. Lamp Efficiency (Can be used for a long time at the outstanding intensity! Xenon has the world’s longest life. and this has led us to guarantee a lamp life of 800 hours. 5 . of replacement ÿ 2.5kW (incl. when a lamp has been used for 1000 hours (18 million times). a UV sterilizing system would need a sterilizing system length roughly double that.5m).85 ÿ 225.85÷1000 h. Pulses are irradiated only while the is ON sterilized work passes by. Besides.000 yen/unit×10 units 150. /times $` Freq. 2.25 units ÿ" ÿ 1.25 times/year $aNumbers replaced 4 units×2. The lamp shows virtually no deterioration (decrease) in light emission intensity during the life of the lamp.000 yen/year 775.000 yen/each (Type B) Electricity costs 2. 2.5 Kw × 5000 hours×18 yen/ Kwh 1.co. For this reason.000 yen/year ÿ 137.65 W type UV sterilizing lamp system is the most widely used one in the beverage industry. 400W x 1 lamp $bPower consumption Approx. (Outside diameter of work: Ø32) 2 $b Sterilization level: Killing black molds to the level of 10 or better $c Operating time: 20 hours/day 20 hours/day x 250 days = 5000 hours/year 2.co.025.25times/yearÿ 4.200 yen/year Aÿ B calculated per year Difference ▲1. Lamps are constantly being modified and upgraded with improvements in the long-life durability.. Comparison of Running Costs (Overwhelmingly cost-efficient considering the effect!!) Practical Calculations for the Pulse Beamer and the 400 W UV The 60 .25 units/year $bReplacement costs 180.

ECONOS tel0537-35-0667 F a x0669 URL http: //www.co. The 800 hours life should be regarded as a rule-of-thumb target for replacing lamps. polyethylene (PE) and PVC film. yogurt and milk packs and paper container molding and filling. the shape of the sterilized product and its distance are important factors. 0ûOperating conditions Equipment: PET bottle cap sterilizing Pulse Beamer lamp: Arc length 500mm xenon tube.jp E -ma il: econ os@econ os. PET. Operating time: 1000 hours (No. the lamp need only flash when the product to be sterilized has reached the sterilizing position. the pulse light does not have a sterilizing effect on those parts that are in the shadow of the light.7n m 259.3% 259. It also comes into its own for the sterilization of container. Pulse sterilization is a form of light sterilization. the plastic currently used for beverage bottles.2nm!’ 95. although this does depend to a certain extent on the type or nature of the liquid.0% 259. of light emission passes: 18 million times) 10. Similarly to UV.0% 90 253.000) ÿ 1000 h. For this reason.7nm→93.jp Even when the guaranteed life of 800 hours is exceeded the lamp and the sterilizing efficiency it provides will not cause the slightest problem. 2000 Light emissionVÞ vzQIVÞ epÿN (Unit: 10. the Pulse lamps need not be on all the time.co.2n m 80 0 0 h. The pulse light’s intensity also weakens in a manner inversely proportional to the second power of the distance. 500 1000 500 h. In contrast to UV lamps. such as inner cap surfaces in the case of PET bottles or aluminum bottles and inner surfaces prior to product filling in the case of pudding. Variation in UV Spectrum Intensity of Xenon Lamps 100 ÿÿ ÿ Attenuation rate 減衰率(1000時間) (1000 hours) 253.7nm!’ 93. 70 freq.2nm→95. 1500 800 h. is not transparent to UV and is consequently not suited for sterilization of the inner surfaces. however. Pulse sterilization also has an encouraging potential for direct use on liquid products with a relatively high transparency. One way of increasing the 6 . Application Areas (Wide application range!) Pulse sterilization has a substantial potential for use in a wide diversity of application fields. When a UV-transparent container is used the container contents may be sterilized by irradiating the Photo: pulse light after product filling or packaging.econos.3% 253. among other things. For example. puddings and yogurt. This means that the lamp’s ON time is coupled with the line’s availability. Rather. it can be used to significantly reduce colon bacilli and fungi by direct irradiation of the food surface prior to sealing for food products such as deep-frozen fish fillets. The Pulse Beamer for Food Surface Sterilization materials with a favorable UV-transparency include.

and the medical field. The users currently employing UV sterilization systems are particularly likely candidates for the early replacement of the UV equipment by the pulse beamer system.co. Photo: Pulse Beamer used for sterilizing the inner surfaces of bottle caps. It is therefore necessary to strike an optimum balance. there is no doubt that the increasingly higher levels of sterilization will be demanded. we would be only too pleased to answer any inquiries or queries. In this case the lamp comes under greater stress and this may have adverse repercussions on the lamp’s life. 7 . These experiments have enabled us to collect a substantial body of data and experience which we are confident will benefit users in many walks of industry. It is therefore reasonable to expect that the need for pulse light sterilization will increase in a wide user range. Conclusion Pulse light sterilization technology has a promising application potential in areas requiring a high level of sterilization without residual problems and without heat application and contact.jp E -ma il: econ os@econ os.ECONOS tel0537-35-0667 F a x0669 URL http: //www.co. In our effort to serve. 11. beverages.econos.jp sterilizing power of the pulse beam may be to increase the input energy. Please do not hesitate to consult us. including food. Amidst growing health and safety concerns. Econos has conducted sterilizing tests on a wide diversity of products using its pulse light sterilizing technology.