A New and Simple Approach for Decontamination of Food Contact Surfaces with Gliding Arc Discharge Atmospheric Non-Thermal Plasma
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In this study, a gliding arc discharge (GAD) microplasma system was designed, and its decontamination effect was investigated on stainless steel (SS), silicone (Si), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) surfaces artificially contaminated with 8.15 ± 0.28 log cfu/mL of Escherichia coli and 6.18 ± 0.21 log cfu/mL of Staphylococcus epidermidis. Each of the contaminated surfaces was treated with high purity air (79% nitrogen and 21% oxygen) or nitrogen plasmas for 1–10 min at varying rates of gas flow. Significant reductions of 3.76 ± 0.28, 3.19 ± 0.31, and 2.95 ± 0.94 log cfu/mL in S. epidermidis, and 2.72 ± 0.82, 4.43 ± 0.14, and 3.18 ± 0.96 log cfu/mL in E. coli on SS, Si, and PET surfaces, respectively, were achieved after 5 min of plasma treatment by using nitrogen as the plasma forming gas (p < 0.05). The temperature changes of each surface during plasma generation were lower than 35 °C and were not affected by the type of plasma forming gas. Additionally, morphological changes in the structure of E. coli and S. epidermidis after GAD plasma treatments were demonstrated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM).
KeywordsGliding arc discharge microplasma Decontamination E. coli S. epidermidis Stainless steel Silicone Polyethylene terephthalate
This study was supported by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) (Project number: MAG 112M740), the Korean Scientific Cooperation Network, the European Research Area (KORANET) Joint Call on Green Technologies project: KORANET (ENV-BIO-GA), and COST Actions (MP1101 and TD1208) and LUT research fund.
We would like to thank Prof. H. Stryczewska for her kind guidance and management of the KORANET ENV-BIO-GA network.
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