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Reducing waste and improving quality in the food supply chain using cold plasma technology as a last decontamination hurdle on the food production line


Cold plasma is an exciting new technology with a proven potential for rapid microbial decontamination of surfaces. A plasma state is generated by applying a high voltage to a gas, transforming it into a cocktail of reactive plasma species, which may have high oxidation potential and therefore considerable food decontamination potential. Prepared produce decontamination is necessary to remove soil, foreign bodies and bacteria (potentially pathogenic) from the food surface but is notoriously difficult to achieve. Moreover, the different decontamination techniques used so far (chlorination, rapid chilling, etc…) are applied on the product before it is packed, meaning that recontamination can occur from further handling prior to packing. This project is using a novel pulsed plasma system to inject plasma species into the food packaging at the point of sealing, thus providing a final decontamination hurdle directly in the pack without further recontamination risk. The objectives of the project are to prove this concept and demonstrate the improved shelf life and safety of a variety of food products (prepared salads, prepared fruit, prepared vegetables).

Bayliss, Danny
Campden BRI
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