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 #328721

Research Project: Development of Alternative Intervention Technologies for Fresh or Minimally Processed Foods

Location: Food Safety and Intervention Technologies Research

Title: Cold Plasma as a novel intervention against food-borne pathogens

item Niemira, Brendan

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/10/2016
Publication Date: 9/4/2016
Citation: Niemira, B.A. 2016. Cold Plasma as a novel intervention against food-borne pathogens. Meeting Abstract. Volume 1: Page 1; 6th International Conf. on Plasma Medicine(ICPM6);Bratislava, Slovakia; 9-4,2016.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Contamination of meats, seafood, fresh and fresh-cut fruits and vegetables and other foods 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. Adapting the cold plasma technologies to the particular needs of food products is the focus of ongoing research. 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 for the food processing industry.