Skip to main content
ARS Home » Northeast Area » Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania » Eastern Regional Research Center » Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #317720

Title: Atmospheric cold plasma iactivation of norovirus surrogates and native microbiota on blueberries

item Niemira, Brendan
item Lacombe, Alison
item Gurtler, Joshua
item Sites, Joseph
item Boyd, Glenn
item LI, XINHUI - University Of Delaware
item CHEN, HAIQIANG - University Of Delaware
item Fan, Xuetong
item Kingsley, David

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/15/2015
Publication Date: 7/24/2015
Citation: Niemira, B.A., Lacombe, A.C., Gurtler, J., Sites, J.E., Boyd, G., Li, X., Chen, H., Fan, X., Kingsley, D.H. 2015. Atmospheric cold plasma iactivation of norovirus surrogates and native microbiota on blueberries. Meeting Abstract. USDA NIFA Project Director Invitational Meeting. IAFP Annual Meeting. Portland, Oregon. July 24, 2014. Volume 1, Page 1.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Cold plasma (CP) is an emerging, novel, nonthermal technology that can be used for surface decontamination of foods. This study investigated CP technology for the nonthermal inactivation of the human norovirus surrogates, Tulane virus (TV) and Murine Norovirus (MNV), as well as for background microbiota on the surface of blueberries. Blueberries (5 g) were weighed into sterile 4 oz. glass jars and inoculated with 500 µl of TV or MNV (5 log PFU/g). Samples were treated with atmospheric CP for 0, 15, 30, 45, and 60 s at a working distance of 7.5 cm with 7 cubic feet/minute (cfm) of circulating air. CP demonstrated significant antiviral efficacy against TV, with a reduction of 1.6 log PFU/g after 45 s. In comparison, a 15 s treatment of CP reduced MNV by, a 1 log PFU/g. Blueberries were analyzed for compression firmness, surface color, and total anthocyanins, immediately after each treatment. CP resulted in significant (P < 0.05) reductions of APC on treated berries, with a 1.6 log CFU/g reduction after a 90 s CP treatment. All CP treatments resulted in suppression of microbiota during storage. After 7 days of storage, the APC of blueberries treated with the shortest CP exposure (15 s) were 2 log CFU/g lower than the control. CP treatments longer than 60 s resulted in significant reduction in berry firmness. Total anthocyanins and overall color intensity (L*, a*, and b*) were reduced by 120 s C CP treatment. With further optimization, CP may be used by food processors as a means to inactivate foodborne viruses.