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Researchers use Plasma-Processed air to boost fresh cut shelf life

Fresh and fresh-cut produce have a limited shelf life of several days, which allows only a regional distribution of them. The limited shelf life and the associated losses of fresh produce have various causes, but especially depend on microbial contamination at all stages in the value chain.

One possible method to solve this rather than conventional washing could be the application of non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma for washing and drying of fresh and fresh-cut produce.

Researchers from the Leibniz Institute for Plasma Science and Technology in Greifswald, Germany presented an experimental set-up based on a microwave-plasma source, which generates plasma processed air (PPA) in a recent study.

The method for the generation of antimicrobial active air presented within this work showed a potential for decontaminating fresh cut produce from six different microorganisms with microwave plasma processed air (PPA) based on compressed air.

The promising results and the advantages of plasma processed air (low-temperature, simple and cheap generation, comparability to ozonized air) offer a wide range of possible applications and non-thermal plasma might be implemented in the food industry for the decontamination of raw agricultural products such as apples, lettuce, almonds, mangoes, melons and other goods within a few years.


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