Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 3/2/2017
Publication Date: 2/5/2018
Citation: Niemira, B.A. 2018. Cold plasma processing to improve food safety. Book Chapter. Ch.4,Pp.138-152 in Proctor, A. (ed)"Alternatives to Conventioanl Food Processing", Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK
Technical Abstract: Cold plasma is an antimicrobial process being developed for application as a food processing technology. This novel intervention is the subject of an expanding research effort by groups around the world. A variety of devices can be used to generate cold plasma and apply it to the food commodity being sanitized, but a common defining characteristic is nonthermal operation, i.e. the inactivation of foodborne pathogens via mechanisms that do not rely on heat. Cold plasma may be regarded as an ionized gas, with the ionization process initiated by high-voltage electrical discharges, microwaves, or other energy sources. The resulting complex mixture of ions, free electrons, radicals and other reactive chemical species enact antimicrobial effects via the generation of UV radiation, ozone, charged particles, oxygen radicals, and other reactive species. This chapter will describe the modes of action of cold plasma, discuss the primary types of technologies used in cold plasma processing, describe potential applications in food processing and packaging, and delineate the most promising areas of research, both ongoing and for the future.