Submitted to: Food Microbiology
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/30/2011
Publication Date: 5/12/2012
Citation: Niemira, B.A. 2012. Cold plasma: overview of plasma technologies and applications. Food Microbiology. Montville, T.J.,K.R. Matthews and K.E. Kniel.ASM Press. Washington, DC. Page 451.
Technical Abstract: Cold plasma is a novel nonthermal food processing technology. It is based on energetic, reactive gases which inactivate contaminating microbes on meats, poultry and fruits and vegetables. The primary modes of action are due to UV light and reactive chemical products of the cold plasma ionization process. This flexible sanitizing method uses electricity and a carrier gas such as air, oxygen, nitrogen or helium; antimicrobial chemical agents are not required. Cold plasma systems are being developed which operate at atmospheric pressures or in low pressure treatment chambers. Pathogens such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus have been shown to be reduced by greater than 5 logs using cold plasma treatment. Times to achieve reductions can range from 120 s to as little at 3 s, depending on processing conditions. Cold plasma is a promising technology which is the subject of active research to enhance efficacy and to scale up to commercial levels.