Application of cold plasma technology in the food industry and its combination with other emerging technologies

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Uçar Y. , Ceylan Z., Durmuş M. , Tomar O., Teçinkaya T.

Trends In Food Science & Technology, vol.114, pp.355-371, 2021 (Journal Indexed in SCI Expanded)

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 114
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.tifs.2021.06.004
  • Title of Journal : Trends In Food Science & Technology
  • Page Numbers: pp.355-371


Background: The search for preservation methods that can be used as alternatives to heat treatment is a signif-icant issue in food quality. Utilization of plasma technology, a useful nonthermal technique, is encouraged in the food industry because of its effectiveness in preserving the natural aroma and flavor and antimicrobial activity. Scope and approach: The cold plasma (CP) technique is used for food processing for enhancing antimicrobial activity, structural modification, decontamination of surfaces, and disinfection of food-processing instruments. Currently, a combination of CP with other promising approaches, such as nanotechnology applications, including nanofiber, nanoemulsion, nanoparticles, and  nanoencapsulation, and  emerging nonthermal technologies, including pulsed electric field (PEF), pulsed light (PL), and ultrasound, is gaining increased attention. In addition to its many advantages, CP is a low-cost method that can be an alternative to heat-based techniques used for the processing of food products. Therefore, application of CP technology in the food industry has been described in this review. Key findings and conclusions: Demand for raw or non-heat-treated foods is increasing due to factors, such as the preference of consumers for healthy foods and the development of consumer awareness. However, plasma technology can be used to improve microbial quality and prevent rapid physical, chemical, and sensory changes. Studies have shown that CP application is effective in offering higher-quality products for consumption by extending the shelf life of foods. Positive results have been achieved in terms of both quality and microbial activity in different food groups with plasma technology. In addition to recently published articles, the combined hurdle effect of CP with other emerging novel technologies such as nanotechnology, pulsed electric field (PEF), pulsed light (PL), and ultrasound processing on food or food packaging materials could be further studied and used to ensure food safety. However, the high initial investment costs for CP need to be considered.   1. Introduction Food preservation and food safety concerns among food producers and consumers are becoming increasingly important globally. The use of alternative techniques for food processing instead of heat treatment have recently been reported in the food industry (Ekezie, Sung, and Cheng 2017; Sonawane and Patil 2020; Zhao, de Alba, Sun, & Tiwari, 2019). In addition, consumer demand for raw or unprocessed food is increasing with the rising interest in healthy lifestyles. However, prob-lems such as the lack of microbiological safety can result in foodborne diseases. Therefore, the search for alternative sterilization techniques is necessary. Non-thermal techniques preserve the natural aroma and fla-vor, and increase microbiological food safety without causing loss of quality, which is observed in heat treatment. These advantages have resulted in increased interest in alternative techniques for food pro-cessing. One of these alternative new generation methods is plasma technology (C. M.G. Charoux et al., 2021; Cl ́ementine M.G. Charoux et al., 2020; P. Y. Lee, Lusk, Mirosa, & Oey, 2016; Mir et al., 2020). Plasma technology is  nonthermal technique applied to  foods  in recent years. It is actually a technique developed for bonding and curing polymers, it is also used in many other fields. Plasma technology is the use of ionized gas in nonthermal sterilization technology (Fern ́andez, * Corresponding author. Department of Seafood Processing Technology, Faculty of Fisheries, Cukurova University, 01330, Balcalı, Adana, Turkey. E-mail address: (Y. Ucar).  Contents lists available at ScienceDirect Trends in Food Science & Technology journal homepage: Received 28 March 2021; Received in revised form 25 May 2021; Accepted 1 June 2021