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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service


Location: Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research

Title: Decontamination of fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables with cold plasma technology

item Niemira, Brendan

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/13/2012
Publication Date: 11/13/2012
Citation: Niemira, B.A. 2012. Decontamination of fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables with cold plasma technology. Meeting Abstract., Institute of Food Technologists Fruists and Vegetables Products Division Webcast., November 13, 2012., Chicago, Illinois., Volume 1, Page 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Contamination of fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables by foodborne pathogens has prompted research into novel interventions. Cold plasma is a nonthermal food processing technology which uses energetic, reactive gases to inactivate contaminating microbes. This flexible sanitizing method uses electricity and a carrier gas such as air, oxygen, nitrogen or helium; antimicrobial chemical agents are not required. The primary modes of action are via reactive chemical products of the cold plasma ionization process and UV light. Current research has developed a wide array of cold plasma systems which operate at atmospheric pressures or in low pressure treatment chambers. Reductions of greater than 5 logs can be obtained for pathogens such as Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes and Staphylococcus aureus. This presentation will summarize the science behind this class of devices and describe recent advances in this promising area of technology. Finally, key areas of future research will be described that will facilitate commercialization.

Last Modified: 10/18/2017
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