FOOD PRODUCTION: Bread and Bakery products

Bread and Bakery products.
Bread is the most important food in the western world. Each EU citizen consumes an average of 70 kg of bread every year (1).
Bread, like other baked foods, is notoriously perishable and although it is at its best when consumed 'fresh', this condition only lasts a few hours after the product has left the oven.
In fact, mainly during storage and packaging, it undergoes a series of changes that lead to the loss of its organoleptic freshness.
The factors that deteriorate bread during its storage are mainly divided into two groups:
  • those attributed to microbial attack, and
  • those attributable to physical changes that lead to the progressive firming of the crumb, commonly referred to as 'staling'.
The main causes of spoilage.
The most common source of microbial deterioration of bread is mould growth.
Less common, but still causing problems in hot weather, is the bacterial spoilage condition known as 'rope' caused by the growth of Bacillus species.
The least common of all types of microbial spoilage in bread is that caused by certain types of yeast.

Mould spoilage is due to post-processing contamination. Freshly baked breads are free of mould or mould spores due to their thermal inactivation during the baking process (2).
Bread is contaminated after baking by mould spores in the ambient air during cooling, slicing, packaging and storage.
The environment inside a bakery is not sterile because dry ingredients, especially flour, contain mould spores and flour dust easily spreads in the air.

​It is estimated that 1 g of flour contains up to 8000 mould spores. In some bakeries, a similar number of spores are deposited on 1 m2 of surface area every hour (Doerry, 1990).
Production operations such as weighing and mixing ingredients increase the number of moulds in the air.
In larger bakeries where segregation is possible, the flour handling areas are separated from the cooling and packaging area of the finished bread.

The solution.
UV-C ultraviolet irradiation can destroy and inactivate microorganisms such as moulds and bacteria, reducing the risk of contamination and the formation of moulds.
UV-C technology is tested by independent laboratories for its effectiveness in destroying viruses and bacteria, and is commonly used in state-of-the-art, high-tech food industries.
UV-C solutions for the food industry are specifically designed to be installed in the different environments of the food industry, as well as in a bakery.
They are made of stainless steel to ensure compatibility with food production machinery and to guarantee quality and durability.
They are mainly installed on packaging lines, where the product is at greatest risk of post-production contamination. However, the applications are many and include raw material storage and the production lines themselves.

Main benefits of UV-C technology for the food industry.
There are many but some of the most critical:
  • Increase the shelf life of the product.
  • Reduce consumption of chemical, which would risk altering the organoleptic qualities of the product
  • Increase the quality of the finished product, positioning it above competing products that do not use innovative disinfection technology

For the last 35 years at Light Progress we have been designing, developing and producing UV-C solutions for disinfection against viruses, bacteria, pathogens, moulds and other contaminants.
Our FOOD INDUSTRY solutions are designed and manufactured specifically for the food production industry and currently used by hundreds of companies in more than 50 countries worldwide.

Discover our applications for the Food Industry at:

1. Source: Italmopa - Associazione Mignai Industriali d'Italia
2. Source: Ponte J. G., Tsen C. C. (1978). Bakery products. In: Beuchat L. R. (ed.), Food and Beverage Mycology. AVI Publishing Co. Westport, CT, USA. Pp. 191-223. 


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.

I raggi UV-C funzionano davvero, se applicati correttamente e con le dovute precauzioni. La differenza fra un progetto di qualità e una applicazione senza risultati è data dalla profonda conoscenza dell'argomento e dall'esperienza acquisita nel tempo. Dal 1987 Light Progress realizza progetti di successo in tutto il mondo e ha acquisito una clientela costituita da Società importanti in tutti i settori che necessitano di condizioni igieniche verificate per generare prodotti e servizi di qualità.