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A review on microbiological decontamination of fresh produce with nonthermal plasma
- Pignata, C., D'Angelo, D., Fea, E., Gilli, G.
- Journal of applied microbiology 2017 v.122 no.6 pp. 1438-1455
- European Union, animal production, decontamination, food contamination, food industry, foodborne illness, fresh produce, microbial contamination, microorganisms, public health, United States
- Food safety is a critical public health issue for consumers and the food industry because microbiological contamination of food causes considerable social and economic burdens on health care. Most foodborne illness comes from animal production, but as of the mid‐1990s in the United States and more recently in the European Union, the contribution of fresh produce to foodborne outbreaks has rapidly increased. Recent studies have suggested that sterilization with nonthermal plasma could be a viable alternative to the traditional methods for the decontamination of heat‐sensitive materials or food because this technique proves capable of eliminating micro‐organisms on surfaces without altering the substrate. In the last 10 years, researchers have used nonthermal plasma in a variety of food inoculated with many bacterial species. All of these experiments were conducted exclusively in a laboratory and, to our knowledge, this technique has not been used in an industrial setting. Thus, the purpose of this review is to understand whether this technology could be used at the industrial level. The latest researches using nonthermal plasma on fresh produce were analysed. These evaluations have focused on the log reduction of micro‐organisms and the treatment time.