In the world of agriculture and viticulture, ensuring the safety and quality of grapes and the subsequent wines they yield is of paramount importance. To this end, technological advancements are constantly sought after to mitigate risks associated with microbial contamination, spoilage, and compromised sensory attributes. One such innovation that has gained prominence in recent years is the application of Ultraviolet-C (UVC) light. UVC light's ability to combat microorganisms has led to its adoption in both grape treatment and wine production cellars, revolutionizing the way we approach food safety and quality maintenance.

The journey of grapes from vine to bottle is fraught with microbial challenges. Bacteria and molds can compromise the integrity of grapes and the wines they produce. Traditionally, grape sanitization involves chemical treatments that may have residual effects and can impact the environment. Enter UVC light, a non-chemical alternative that holds promise for enhancing grape safety without leaving behind unwanted traces.
Powdery mildew and other fungal diseases can significantly affect grapevines, leading to reduced yield and compromised grape quality. These pathogens thrive in warm, humid conditions and can spread rapidly, causing powdery white spots on leaves, stems, and clusters. Climate change and warmer temperature conditions can also create a more favorable environment for the growth and spread of the powdery mildew fungus.
Preventing powdery mildew and other fungal diseases on grapes using Ultraviolet-C (UVC) light is an innovative approach that can help mitigate the impact of these pathogens on grape vines.

In a scientific study published on the Journal of Food Science and Technology (#59, 2022), Ultraviolet light-C (UV-C) was used in ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ grapes in the postharvest period to improve the anthocyanin profile and sensory attributes in wine produced with irradiated grapes. Anthocyanins are important compounds in grapes and wine and significantly influence their characteristics. After winemaking and storage time (6 months), ‘Cabernet Sauvignon’ wine produced with grapes irradiated with UVC light presented higher perception scores for visual color, aroma, taste, and was preferred by the tasters over the wine produced with non-irradiated grapes.

Wine production cellars are hives of activity, where the transformation of grapes into the finest vintages occurs. However, this environment can also be a breeding ground for contaminants that threaten the quality of the end product. Maintaining the cellar disinfected is essential to prevent spoilage, off-flavors, and also the formation of mold on wooden aging barrels and other containers and equipment. Here, UVC light emerges as a powerful tool to bolster hygiene protocols.
Cellar cleaning is an intricate process that involves meticulous attention to detail. By incorporating UVC light, winemakers can enhance their cleaning and sanitation practices, targeting microbes that might persist even after conventional cleaning. UVC light's ability to inactivate microorganisms directly complements traditional cleaning agents and practices, ensuring a higher level of sterilization.

Benefits of UVC Application in Wine Cellars:
  • Microbial Control: UVC light can reach nooks and crannies that might be challenging to access during manual cleaning, effectively reducing microbial populations.
  • Complementary to Cleaning: UVC light works in synergy with traditional cleaning agents, creating a more robust cleaning and sanitation regimen.
  • Time Efficiency: UVC treatment can save time by reducing the need for extended downtime during thorough cleaning sessions.
  • Quality Assurance: By minimizing the risk of contamination, UVC contributes to consistent wine quality and sensory characteristics.

The integration of UVC light into grape treatment and wine production cellars marks a significant step forward in the quest for food safety and quality. Its ability to combat microorganisms without relying on chemicals, positions UVC as an environmentally conscious solution with far-reaching implications.
However, successful implementation hinges on meticulous calibration of UVC dosage, exposure time, and consideration of cellar layouts. Light Progress devices for food processing and surfaces and environmental UV-C irradiation are specifically designed for such kind of treatments.
Get in touch with our product specialists for a design proposal and a quote.


Ultraviolet rays are electromagnetic waves which are part of light. Electromagnetic waves are divided into three main wavelength bands, expressed in nanometers, nm: Ultraviolet rays (UV) 100-400 nm Visible rays (light) 400-700 nm Infrared rays (IR) 700-800,000 nm UV rays are in turn identified in three bands:

  • UV-A (315-400 nm) with tanning properties;
  • UV-B (280-315 nm) con proprietà terapeutiche e di sintesi della vitamina "D";
  • UV-C (100-280 nm) with germicidal properties.

UV-C rays (100-280 nm) have a strong germicidal effect and reach their maximum efficacy at the 265 nm wavelength. The germicidal effect of UV-C radiation covers bacteria, viruses, spores, fungi, moulds and mites; this is mainly due to the destructive effect of the UV-C rays on their DNA, which damage their reproductive system and prevent them from replicating.

Bacteria, Viruses, Spores, Fungi, Mould, and Mites are all sensitive to, and can therefore be eliminated with, UV-C light. Mircrobes cannot acquire resistance to UV-C light, unlike that which occurs using chemical disinfectants and antibiotics. UV rays are ecological. Polluting the environment is inevitable using normal disinfectants. Directly inhaling the vapours, or swallowing food products contaminated by any contact with said chemical disinfectants, can also give rise to a number of serious risks. In cases where chemical disinfectants cannot be eliminated (food, pharmaceutical, healthcare industries, etc.), using ultraviolet rays for disinfection allows a reduction in their use, with considerable economic savings and greater care for the environment, while maintaining and almost always improving the level of disinfection. UV-C light devices can be installed in environments and on machinery and be programmed to maintain the same level of disinfection day and night, guaranteeing ideal hygiene conditions, without highs and lows. On the contrary, chemical disinfectants are effective only during their actual use. Using LIGHT PROGRESS equipped luminaires, operating costs are negligible; it could be said that “LIGHT PROGRESS” UV-C systems do not require maintenance except for the normal replacement of the lamps. The cost/benefit ratio is considered excellent; the devices are both powerful and long-lasting. Hence the elimination of germs using UV-C technology is low-cost and highly effective compared to (or in combination with) other systems.

UV-C really does work when applied correctly and with the necessary precautions. The difference between a quality project and an unsuccessful application is in-depth knowledge and experience gained over time. Since 1987, Light Progress has been carrying out successful projects all over the world and has acquired a clientele of major companies in all sectors that require verified hygienic conditions to produce quality products and services.