The Effects of Cold Plasma-Activated Water Treatment on the Microbial Growth and Antioxidant Properties of Fresh-Cut Pears
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Herein, we examined the effects of plasma-activated water (PAW) treatment on the native microflora survival, quality maintenance, and antioxidant activity of fresh-cut pears, which were washed with PAW under three different conditions (peak voltage = 6, 8, and 10 kV) for 5 min and then stored at 4 °C for 12 days. Distilled water and sodium hypochlorite treatment were used as control and comparison, respectively. Results showed that all PAW treatments significantly inhibited the growth of aerobic bacteria, yeast, and mold during storage, with the 8-kV PAW treatment maintaining the lowest growth rate. Additionally, no significant change was observed in the soluble solid content and titratable acidy of fresh-cut pears treated with PAW. Treatment by 6-kV PAW significantly slowed down the softening of fresh-cut pears, while the 8-kV PAW treatment significantly reduced the mass loss and the total phenolic content (P < 0.05). The ascorbic acid content and radical scavenging activity (DPPH and ABTS) of fresh-cut pears were affected by PAW treatment only at the beginning of storage. After 8 days of storage, no significant differences were found in ascorbic acid content and radical scavenging activity among the samples (P > 0.05). Furthermore, PAW outperformed sodium hypochlorite in antimicrobial effectiveness and quality maintenance. Taken together, these results suggest that PAW treatment might be a promising strategy to control microbial growth and maintain the quality of fresh-cut pears.
KeywordsPlasma-activated water Fresh-cut pear Antioxidant activity Antioxidants
We thank Dean Dongping Liu from the School of Physics and Materials Engineering, and Liaoning Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Films & Materials Plasma for supplying the plasma device and plasma-activated water.
The work was financially supported by “Thirteenth Five-Year Plan” for National key research and development program (no. 2016YFD0400903), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (no. 31601517, 31801598), and High-level Personnel Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program in Dalian City (2017RQ147).
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