UVC light-emitting diodes (UVC-LEDs) are a novel eco-friendly alternative source of UV light. This study evaluated the inactivation and membrane damage of spoilage yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae by UVC-LEDs and their application in orange juice pasteurization. The results demonstrated that the antimicrobial effect of UVC-LED treatment against S. cerevisiae was enhanced by increased radiation dose. When the dose of UVC-LED radiation was 1,420 mJ/cm2, the population of S. cerevisiae in yeast extract peptone dextrose broth was reduced by 4.86 log CFU/mL. Through scanning electron microscopy and fluorescent staining, the structure and function of plasma membrane was observed to be severely damaged by UVC-LED treatment. The inactivation efficacy of UVC-LEDs against S. cerevisiae in orange juice also increased with increasing radiation dose. Radiation at 1,420 mJ/cm2 greatly reduced S. cerevisiae in orange juice by 4.44 log CFU/mL and did not induce remarkable changes in pH, total soluble solids, titratable acidity, and color parameters. However, the total phenolic content in orange juice was found to be significantly decreased by UVC-LEDs. These findings contribute to a better comprehension of UVC-LED inactivation and provide theoretical support for its potential application in fruit and vegetable juice processing.

  • UVC-LED treatment inactivated S. cerevisiae in a dose-dependent manner.

  • UVC-LED treatment induced release of intracellular nucleic acids and proteins.

  • The cell membrane is one target for inactivation of S. cerevisiae by UVC-LED treatment.

  • UVC-LEDs induced no remarkable changes in orange juice quality, with the exception of TPC.

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