Now showing 1 - 4 of 4
  • Publication
    Efficacy of cold plasma functionalised water for improving microbiological safety of fresh produce and wash water recycling
    Atmospheric cold plasma (ACP) is an effective method for microbiological decontamination. This study evaluated an alternative water-based decontamination approach for inactivation of bacterial population from fresh produce and in the wash water generated from fresh produce washing. The study characterised ACP inactivation of attached Listeria innocua and Pseudomonas fluorescens inoculated on lettuce in comparison to chlorine treatment. P. fluorescens was sensitive to ACP treatment and was reduced below detection limit within 3 min of treatment. L. innocua population was reduced by ∼2.4 Log10 CFU/g after 5 min of treatment; showing similar inactivation efficacy to chlorine treatment. The microbial load in wash water was continuously decreased and was below detection limits after 10 min of ACP treatment. Micro-bubbling along with agitation assisted the bacterial detachment and distribution of reactive species, thus increasing bacterial inactivation efficacy from fresh produce and wash water. A shift in pH of plasma functionalised water was observed along with high concentration of nitrate and ozone with a relative amount of nitrites which increased with plasma exposure time. Further, L. innocua treated at different independent pH conditions showed minimal or no effect of pH on ACP bacterial inactivation efficacy. Aqueous ACP treatment poses a promising alternative for decontamination of fresh produce and the associated wash-waters which could be applied in the food industry to replace continuous chlorine dosing of process waters.
    Scopus© Citations 66  69
  • Publication
    Cytotoxic and mutagenic potential of solutions exposed to cold atmospheric plasma
    The exposure of aqueous solutions to atmospheric plasmas results in the generation of relatively long-lived secondary products such as hydrogen peroxide which are biologically active and have demonstrated anti-microbial and cytotoxic activity. The use of plasma-activated solutions in applications such as microbial decontamination or anti-cancer treatments requires not only adequate performance on target cells but also a safe operating window regarding the impact on surrounding tissues. Furthermore the generation of plasma-activated fluids needs to be considered as a by-stander effect of subjecting tissue to plasma discharges. Cytotoxicity and mutagenicity assays using mammalian cell lines were used to elucidate the effects of solutions treated with di-electric barrier discharge atmospheric cold plasma. Plasma-treated PBS inhibited cell growth in a treatment time-dependent manner showing a linear correlation to the solutions' peroxide concentration which remained stable over several weeks. Plasma-treated foetal bovine serum (FBS) acting as a model for complex bio-fluids showed not only cytotoxic effects but also exhibited increased mutagenic potential as determined using the mammalian HPRT assay. Further studies are warranted to determine the nature, causes and effects of the cyto- and genotoxic potential of solutions exposed to plasma discharges to ensure long-term safety of novel plasma applications in medicine and healthcare.
      106Scopus© Citations 120
  • Publication
    High voltage atmospheric cold air plasma control of bacterial biofilms on fresh produce
    Atmospheric cold plasma (ACP) offers great potential for decontamination of food borne pathogens. This study examined the antimicrobial efficacy of ACP against a range of pathogens of concern to fresh produce comparing planktonic cultures, monoculture biofilms (Escherichia coli, Salmonella enterica, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas fluorescens) and mixed culture biofilms (Listeria monocytogenes and Pseudomonas fluorescens). Biotic and abiotic surfaces commonly occurring in the fresh food industry were investigated. Microorganisms showed varying susceptibility to ACP treatment depending on target and process factors. Bacterial biofilm populations treated with high voltage (80 kV) ACP were reduced significantly (p < 0.05) in both mono- and mixed species biofilms after 60 s of treatment and yielded non-detectable levels after extending treatment time to 120 s. However, an extended time was required to reduce the challenge mixed culture biofilm of L. monocytogenes and P. fluorescens inoculated on lettuce, which was dependent on biofilm formation conditions and substrate. Contained treatment for 120 s reduced L. monocytogenes and P. fluorescens inoculated as mixed cultures on lettuce (p < 0.05) by 2.2 and 4.2 Log 10 CFU/ml respectively. When biofilms were grown at 4 °C on lettuce, there was an increased resistance to ACP treatment by comparison with biofilm grown at temperature abuse conditions of 15 °C. Similarly, L. monocytogenes and P. fluorescens exposed to cold stress (4 °C) for 1 h demonstrated increased tolerance to ACP treatment compared to non-stressed cells. These finding demonstrates that bacterial form, mono versus mixed challenges as well as environmental stress conditions play an important role in ACP inactivation efficacy.
    Scopus© Citations 63  88
  • Publication
    Cold plasma inactivation of bacterial biofilms and reduction of quorum sensing regulated virulence factors
    The main objectives of this work were to investigate the effect of atmospheric cold plasma (ACP) against a range of microbial biofilms commonly implicated in foodborne and healthcare associated human infections and against P. aeruginosa quorum sensing (QS)-regulated virulence factors, such as pyocyanin, elastase (Las B) and biofilm formation capacity post-ACP treatment. The effect of processing factors, namely treatment time and mode of plasma exposure on antimicrobial activity of ACP were also examined. Antibiofilm activity was assessed for E. coli, L. monocytogenes and S. aureus in terms of reduction of culturability and retention of metabolic activity using colony count and XTT assays, respectively. All samples were treated 'inpack' using sealed polypropylene containers with a high voltage dielectric barrier discharge ACP generated at 80 kV for 0, 60, 120 and 300 s and a post treatment storage time of 24 h. According to colony counts, ACP treatment for 60 s reduced populations of E. coli to undetectable levels, whereas 300 s was necessary to significantly reduce populations of L. monocytogenes and S. aureus biofilms. The results obtained from XTT assay indicated possible induction of viable but non culturable state of bacteria. With respect to P. aeruginosa QS-related virulence factors, the production of pyocyanin was significantly inhibited after short treatment times, but reduction of elastase was notable only after 300 s and no reduction in actual biofilm formation was achieved post-ACP treatment. Importantly, reduction of virulence factors was associated with reduction of the cytotoxic effects of the bacterial supernatant on CHO-K1 cells, regardless of mode and duration of treatment. The results of this study point to ACP technology as an effective strategy for inactivation of established biofilms and may play an important role in attenuation of virulence of pathogenic bacteria. Further investigation is warranted to propose direct evidence for the inhibition of QS and mechanisms by which this may occur.
      111Scopus© Citations 123