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Plasma-activated water (PAW) as a disinfection technology for bacterial inactivation with a focus on fruit and vegetables

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-03, 20:19 authored by Aswathi Soni, Jonghyun Choi, Gale BrightwellGale Brightwell
Plasma-activated water (PAW) is generated by treating water with cold atmospheric plasma (CAP) using controllable parameters, such as plasma-forming voltage, carrier gas, temperature, pulses, or frequency as required. PAW is reported to have lower pH, higher conductivity, and higher oxygen reduction potential when compared with untreated water due to the presence of reactive species. PAW has received significant attention from researchers over the last decade due to its non-thermal and non-toxic mode of action especially for bacterial inactivation. The objective of the current review is to develop a summary of the effect of PAW on bacterial strains in foods as well as model systems such as buffers, with a specific focus on fruit and vegetables. The review elaborated the properties of PAW, the effect of various treatment parameters on its efficiency in bacterial inactivation along with its usage as a standalone technology as well as a hurdle approach with mild thermal treatments. A section highlighting different models that can be employed to generate PAW alongside a direct comparison of the PAW characteristics on the inactivation potential and the existing research gaps are also included. The mechanism of action of PAW on the bacterial cells and any reported effects on the sensory qualities and shelf life of food has been evaluated. Based on the literature, it can be concluded that PAW offers a significant potential as a non-chemical and non-thermal intervention for bacterial inactivation, especially on food. However, the applicability and usage of PAW depend on the effect of environmental and bacterial strain-based conditions and cost-effectiveness.


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Journal title





Soni, A., Choi, J., & Brightwell, G. (2021). Plasma-activated water (PAW) as a disinfection technology for bacterial inactivation with a focus on fruit and vegetables. Foods, 10(1), 166. doi:10.3390/foods10010166

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