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Kirchner P.,FH Aachen | Kirchner P.,Julich Research Center | Oberlander J.,FH Aachen | Suso H.-P.,Elopak Corporate Offices | And 4 more authors.
Food Control | Year: 2013

In the present work, a novel method for monitoring sterilisation processes with gaseous H2O2 in combination with heat activation by means of a specially designed calorimetric gas sensor was evaluated. Therefore, the sterilisation process was extensively studied by using test specimens inoculated with Bacillus atrophaeus spores in order to identify the most influencing process factors on its microbicidal effectiveness. Besides the contact time of the test specimens with gaseous H2O2 varied between 0.2 and 0.5 s, the present H2O2 concentration in a range from 0 to 8% v/v (volume percent) had a strong influence on the microbicidal effectiveness, whereas the change of the vaporiser temperature, gas flow and humidity were almost negligible. Furthermore, a calorimetric H2O2 gas sensor was characterised in the sterilisation process with gaseous H2O2 in a wide range of parameter settings, wherein the measurement signal has shown a linear response against the H2O2 concentration with a sensitivity of 4.75 °C/(% v/v). In a final step, a correlation model by matching the measurement signal of the gas sensor with the microbial inactivation kinetics was established that demonstrates its suitability as an efficient method for validating the microbicidal effectiveness of sterilisation processes with gaseous H2O2. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Kirchner P.,FH Aachen | Kirchner P.,Julich Research Center | Oberlander J.,FH Aachen | Suso H.-P.,Elopak Corporate Offices | And 4 more authors.
Physica Status Solidi (A) Applications and Materials Science | Year: 2013

A wireless sensor system based on the industrial ZigBee standard for low-rate wireless networking was developed that enables real-time monitoring of gaseous H2O2 during the package sterilization in aseptic food processes. The sensor system consists of a remote unit connected to a calorimetric gas sensor, which was already established in former works, and an external base unit connected to a laptop computer. The remote unit was built up by an XBee radio frequency (RF) module for data communication and a programmable system-on-chip controller to read out the sensor signal and process the sensor data, whereas the base unit is a second XBee RF module. For the rapid H 2O2 detection on various locations inside the package that has to be sterilized, a novel read-out strategy of the calorimetric gas sensor was established, wherein the sensor response is measured within the short sterilization time and correlated with the present H2O2 concentration. In an exemplary measurement application in an aseptic filling machinery, the suitability of the new, wireless sensor system was demonstrated, wherein the influence of the gas velocity on the H2O2 distribution inside a package was determined and verified with microbiological tests. © 2013 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

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