Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/10/2013
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Cold plasma is a novel nonthermal food processing technology for meats, poultry, fruits, and vegetables. This flexible sanitizing method uses electricity and a carrier gas, such as air, oxygen, nitrogen, or helium to inactivate microbes without the use of conventional antimicrobial chemical agents. Various cold plasma systems are under development, operating at atmospheric pressure or in low pressure treatment chambers. Pathogens can be reduced by greater than 5 logs; effective treatment times for Salmonella, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, and Staphylococcus aureus can range from 120 s to as little at 3 s. The antimicrobial modes of action vary depending on the type of cold plasma generated, but rely on UV and reactive chemical species. This chapter will define cold plasma and the technologies used to generate it, as well as delineate the efficacy of the process as a food processing technology.