Novozymes invests in new energy-saving UV technology 

January 5, 2023 - 3 minutes
Photo/Lyras

Denmark-headquartered biotech group Novozymes has invested in a new and energy-friendly filtration replacement from Danish Lyras. 

Novozymes has purchased its first UV system based on the raslysation technology for inactivation of microorganisms. Raslysation is going to improve work environment and reduce energy consumption for the global market leader in industrial enzymes.

Novozymes’ new raslysation system from Lyras is going to replace labor-intensive filtration processes that previously caused physical strain on the company’s employees in connection with manual handling of filters. At the same time, the investment is expected to provide increased safety with regards to unwanted microbiology and reduced energy consumption.

Lyras and raslysation

Lyras has developed raslysation technology, which inactivates microorganisms in drinks and other opaque liquids by way of UV light. The technique is far less energy-intensive compared to traditional pasteurization and filtration methods. Consequently, raslysation saves between 60 and 90% of the energy, and 60 to 80% of the water traditional pasteurization requires. If, for instance, a dairy that produces 40 tonnes of whey per hour, were to switch from traditional pasteurization to raslysation, it would, based on the EU average, emit 519 tonnes of CO2 less per year. 

Raslysation uses a UV light source combined with a light filter that concentrates a specific type of UV light. The liquid is directed past the light source in a controlled movement so that the entire liquid is illuminated. This technique effectively inactivates bacteria. At the same time, more of the natural taste, vitamins and proteins are preserved. The technique can be applied to a range of liquid foods and fluids.

Raslysation fits into Novozymes’ green strategy

Lyras’ technology for inactivating microorganisms with UV light instead of energy-intensive heating has previously been called “cold pasteurization.” However, as the words cold and pasteurization are contradictory, the technology was given a name of its own—raslysation. The word is created from the first three letters of inventor of the technology, Rasmus Mortensen’s name, and the Danish word for light.

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“As several enzymes cannot withstand high temperatures, today we use classic depth-filtration to remove the bioburden in our products. For that reason, our employees replace heavy sets of filter plates daily as part of the purification process for the finished enzyme concentrate. Raslysation relieves us from this procedure. Simultaneously, we gain even more control of unwanted microbial activity in our processes. We also expect to see a difference in our energy bill. All things considered, raslysation fits into Novozymes’ green strategy in every way,” said Steen Skaerbaek, senior director at Novozymes. 

“Once the UV technology provides the expected results at Novozymes’ location in Kalundborg, the next logistical step will be to install Lyras’ UV technology at several of our global strategic sites, that produce high-value enzymes and proteins for the food industry.”

Novozymes: leading by example

“You have to give big, recognized companies like Novozymes props for leading by example and integrating new and green technologies. Novozymes has been a fantastic partner in the process of testing and designing the optimal solution. We are proud that together we have created the basis for a system that a company with Novozymes’ high level of research would want to invest in and use globally in future,” said Lyras CTO Nete Zarp Nielsen.

Microbial control over 45,000 liters per hour 

Novozymes’ new raslysation system will be able to treat 45,000 liters of industrial enzyme liquid per hour. Raslysation can also be used as a substitute for pasteurization of foods such as brine, whey, juice, iced tea, and many other liquids. 

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