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Energy efficient inactivation of Saccharomyces cerevisiae via controlled hydrodynamic cavitation

Lorenzo Albanese1, Rosaria Ciriminna2, Francesco Meneguzzo1 & Mario Pagliaro2

1Istituto di Biometeorologia, CNR, via Caproni 8, 50145 Firenze, Italy

2Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, CNR, via U. La Malfa 153, 90146 Palermo, Italy


Energy efficiency, hydrodynamic cavitation, pasteurization, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, yeast


Francesco Meneguzzo, Istituto di Biometeorologia, CNR, via Caproni 8, 50145 Firenze FI, Italy. Tel: +39-392-9850002; Fax:+39-055-308910; E-mail: francesco.

Mario Pagliaro, Istituto per lo Studio dei Materiali Nanostrutturati, CNR, via U. La Malfa 153, 90146 Palermo PA, Italy.

Tel: +39 091 6809370; Fax: +39 091 6809399; E-mail:

Funding Information

This research was partially funded under the project T.I.L.A. (Innovative Technology for Liquid Foods) of Tuscany Regional Government (Decree No. 6107 – 13 December 2013).

Received: 6 October 2014; Revised: 9 January 2015; Accepted: 12 January 2015

Energy Science and Engineering 2015; 3(3): 221–238

doi: 10.1002/ese3.62


Saccharomyces cerevisiae (SC) is the yeast which is most commonly used in the food industry for the fermentation of wine and beer, as well as it is responsible for spoilage in fruit juices and milk [1]. Its inactivation is tradition- ally performed mostly by means of thermal pasteuriza- tion, even though extensive research was aimed at developing alternative methods to achieve a sufficient lethality of SC while keeping temperatures as low as possible [2].

Lower pasteurization temperatures would lead at least in principle to a double advantage: preserving superior nutritive and organoleptic qualities of the food liquids, as well as saving thermal energy, the latter provided that the alternative techniques are sufficiently energy effective.

Beer production, for example, which need a costly ther- mal pasteurization stage after fermentation in order to avoid further fermentation after bottling as well as to obtain a safe product before release to the market, could benefit from the adoption of new more efficient pasteuri- zation techniques.


We investigate hydrodynamic cavitation to inactivate commonly employed Sac- charomyces cerevisiae yeast strains in an aqueous solution using different reac- tors and hydraulic circuit selected to demonstrate the process feasibility on the industrial scale. The target to achieve an useful lethality of the yeast at lower temperature when compared with standard thermal and even with other cavita- tion processes was achieved, with 90% yeast strains lethality at lower tempera- ture (6.3–9.5°C), and about 20% lower energy input. A separate model simulating the combined thermal and cavitational effects on yeast lethality allows to accommodate the data into a comprehensive framework providing a tool to design further targeted experiments and to predict results when chang- ing the process parameters.

a 2015 The Authors. Energy Science & Engineering published by the Society of Chemical Industry and John Wiley & Sons Ltd. 221 This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use,

distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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