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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #305909

Title: Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research: Cold Plasma as a Nonthermal food processing technology

item Niemira, Brendan
item Sites, Joseph
item Boyd, Glenn

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/7/2014
Publication Date: 6/10/2014
Citation: Niemira, B.A., Sites, J.E., Boyd, G. 2014. Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research: Cold Plasma as a Nonthermal food processing technology. Proceedings of the 2nd US-Korea Bilateral Symposium on Agricultural and Food Engineering., June 10-13, 2014, Republice of Korean., Volume 1, Page 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Contamination of meats, seafood, poultry, eggs, and fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables is an ongoing concern. The Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research Unit develops and validates innovative approaches and new technologies that control pathogenic bacteria and viruses while preserving the taste, quality, nutritional value of foods. This presentation will provide an overview of the research conducted by FSIT scientists and engineers, as well as an in-depth examination of cold plasma, an area of ongoing technology development. 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. The key aspects of this technology will be described, and opportunities for collaborative research and development will be indentified.