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Evaluation of the Treatment of Both Sides of Raw Chicken Breasts with an Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jet for the Inactivation of Escherichia coli

Yong, Hae In, Kim, Hyun-Joo, Park, Sanghoo, Choe, Wonho, Oh, Mi Wha, Jo, Cheorun
Foodborne pathogens & disease 2014 v.11 no.8 pp. 652-657
Escherichia coli, agar, atmospheric pressure, breasts, chickens, cold, growth retardation, nitrogen, oxygen, raw chicken meat
Atmospheric pressure plasma (APP) is an emerging nonthermal microbial inactivation technique. In this study, agar and raw chicken breast were inoculated with Escherichia coli and treated with an APP jet based on cold arc plasma. The aim of this study was to investigate the optimum conditions for the plasma treatment of an APP jet in order to maximize the efficiency of E. coli inactivation. The combination of N₂+O₂ (10 standard cubic centimeters per minute) and a longer treatment time (10 min) resulted in the highest inactivation of E. coli on agar plates with an optimum treatment distance of 20 mm. The samples in dry and wet conditions showed similar reductions in E. coli count when one side of the samples was treated at a given treatment time. Treating both sides—2.5 min on each side—resulted in a higher growth inhibition of E. coli than treatment of a single side only for 5 min. However, there was no significant difference between one-side treated samples (10 min) and both-sides treated samples (5+5 min). When the concentration of E. coli in the chicken breast sample was 10⁴ colony-forming units (CFU)/g, the reduction rate of the E. coli was the highest, followed by 10⁵, 10⁶, and 10⁷ CFU/g; however, no difference was found between 10³ and 10⁴ CFU/g. In conclusion, various treatment conditions may affect the inactivation efficiency of E. coli. In the present study, the optimum condition was determined as the treatment distance of 20 mm and longer treatment time (10 min) with the addition of oxygen to the nitrogen gas flow. Furthermore, the cell concentration of sample was an important parameter for the efficacy of the inactivation process.