Cold Plasma Effects on the Nutritional, Textural and Sensory Characteristics of Fruits and Vegetables, Meat, and Dairy Products

  • George Amponsah AnnorEmail author


The non-thermal nature of cold plasma processing has brought it to the spotlight in recent times as an alternative food processing technology, especially for foods sensitive to heat. Simply defined as the generation of short-lived reactive species by the application of electricity to gas, non-thermal plasma has become an important food processing technology. Figure 7.1 shows a schematic presentation of atmospheric cold plasma processing of food products. Depending on the plasma technique used (i.e. corona discharge, dielectric barrier discharge, gliding arch, plasma jets, and radio frequency discharges), different reactive species are produced, usually from vibrationally and electronically excited nitrogen and oxygen. The type of reactive species produced largely depends on the type of gas used. The gases mostly used are but not limited to oxygen, nitrogen, argon, hydrogen, air and their mixtures. These reactive species react with surfaces, they come into contact with resulting in modifications. The effects of cold plasma on the various food components such as proteins, starch, lipids, and phenolics have been previously reported. One of the main applications of cold plasma in food processing is for the sterilization of food products. Other applications such as food quality improvement, packaging applications, surface modifications, and the degradation of toxins in foods have been reported. In this chapter, the advantages and challenges of using cold plasma on the quality of fruits, vegetables, meat and dairy products are highlighted. The discussion is focused on the effects of cold plasma on the nutritional, textural and sensory properties of fruits and vegetables, meat and dairy products.


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food Science and NutritionUniversity of MinnesotaSt. PaulUSA

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