Plasma-Functionalized Water: from Bench to Prototype for Fresh-Cut Lettuce

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorSchnabel, Uta-
dc.contributor.authorHandorf, Oliver-
dc.contributor.authorStachowiak, Joerg-
dc.contributor.authorBourke, Paula-
dc.contributor.authoret al.- the Authorsen_US
dc.identifier.citationFood Engineering Reviewsen_US
dc.description.abstractFresh-cut produce like lettuce may contain a very high microbial load, including human pathogens. Therefore, the need for antimicrobial agents at post-harvest stages to mitigate microbial cross-contamination and growth is evident. Sanitation based on non-thermal plasma (NTP) reveals innovative food processing possibilities by application at different points along the food chain, for production, modification, and preservation, as well as in packaging of plant- and animal-based food. The aim of the present study was to evaluate the applicability of plasma-treated water (PTW) as antimicrobial process water additives for washing in fresh-cut lettuce processing. Antibacterial activities of PTW the natural occurring microflora of lettuce were examined. Different process variants of PTW application inside the washing process were investigated. Fresh-cut lettuce were investigated regarding microbiological safety and food quality. Samples were analyzed for antimicrobial and metabolic activity as well as metabolic vitality to prove food safety. The investigations for food quality included color and texture analyses and nitrate concentration detection in fresh tissue as well as microscopic measurements by scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and atomic force microscopy (AFM) for tissue surface structure and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) for cell organelle investigations. The application of PTW allowed up to 5 log10 cycle reduction, depending on the process variant and scale (lab and pilot scale). The increase of antimicrobial activity was accompanied by a reduction of metabolic activity, but not consequently by a decrease in metabolic vitality. Food quality was not affected by the use of PTW in the washing process of the fresh-cut lettuce. The promising results in color and texture were supported by the results of the microscopic assays. These promising results may lead to an industrial application of PTW as process water additive in fresh-cut produce processing to reduce the microbial load on the food surface and in addition in the process water or on food processing surfaces.en_US
dc.rightsThis article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit
dc.subjectNon-thermal processingen_US
dc.subjectAtmospheric pressure plasmaen_US
dc.subjectMicrowave-driven dischargeen_US
dc.subjectPost-harvest techniquesen_US
dc.titlePlasma-Functionalized Water: from Bench to Prototype for Fresh-Cut Lettuceen_US
dc.typeJournal Articleen_US
dc.statusPeer revieweden_US
dc.neeo.contributoret al.||aut|-
dc.description.othersponsorshipFederal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) of Germanyen_US
dc.description.othersponsorshipFederal Office for Agriculture and Food (ptBLE)en_US
dc.description.othersponsorshipFederal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) of Germanyen_US
dc.description.othersponsorshipVDI Technologiezentrum GmbHen_US
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