It seemed like a more efficient, and perhaps less injurious method of pasteurizing to me. But, like I said, I wasn't sure of the degree it impacts other molecules within the milk. If I were in a position to do so, I think I'd enjoy doing research in the area of non-heat pasteurization of milk and its effects on cheese quality. I should have gone into food science.
At first, I didn't have any specific questions, I was just interested in the application of technology. Now, I do have a couple questions, though. When you say cavitation, I presume you mean the same thing I mean when I say it--the direct conversion of a liquid to a gas due to a localized drop in pressure. I can see how that would be beneficial to irradiation by a dramatic reduction in density and, thus, an similarly dramatic increase in penetration (and thus, saturation) of the uv light. Is this correct?
If so, doesn't that kind of handling of the milk also cause damage itself? I've been reading about how excessive handling messes up the membrane that coats the fat particles which can increase problems with rancidity.
Also, do you know if the uv inactivates enzymes already present in raw milk like pasteurizing does? I presume the answer to this question is, "It depends on the level of irradiation." More specifically then, when irradiating milk at the level required to effect the 5-6 log reduction in pathogens, what kind of effect is had on enzymes?
Again, I'm not asking because I need to know, just because I'm interested. I find this all very fascinating and really enjoy learning more. Thanks!