Cold Plasma Effects on the Nutritional, Textural and Sensory Characteristics of Fruits and Vegetables, Meat, and Dairy Products
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.
- Akocak, P. B. (2016). Current progress in advanced research into fungal and mycotoxin inactivation by cold plasma sterilization. In H. Shintani & A. Sakudo (Eds.), Gas plasma sterilization in microbiology: Theory, applications, pitfalls and new perspectives (pp. 59–74). Norfolk, UK: Caister Academic Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Elez Garofulić, I., Režek Jambrak, A., Milošević, S., Dragović-Uzelac, V., Zorić, Z., & Herceg, Z. (2015). The effect of gas phase plasma treatment on the anthocyanin and phenolic acid content of sour cherry Marasca (Prunus cerasus var. Marasca) juice. LWT – Food Science and Technology, 62(1, Part 2), 894–900.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Fröhling, A., Baier, M., Ehlbeck, J., Knorr, D., & Schlüter, O. (2012). Atmospheric pressure plasma treatment of Listeria innocua and Escherichia coli at polysaccharide surfaces: Inactivation kinetics and flow cytometric characterization. Innovative Food Science & Emerging Technologies, 13, 142–150.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Grzegorzewski, F., Ehlbeck, J., Schlüter, O., Kroh, L. W., & Rohn, S. (2011). Treating lamb’s lettuce with a cold plasma – Influence of atmospheric pressure Ar plasma immanent species on the phenolic profile of Valerianella locusta. LWT – Food Science and Technology, 44(10), 2285–2289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar