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Inactivation of Aspergillus flavus spores in a sealed package by cold plasma streamers



AbstractThe main objective of this study is to investigate the inactivation efficacy of cold streamers in a sealed package on pathogenic fungi Aspergillus flavus (A. flavus) spores that artificially contaminated pistachio surface. To produce penetrating cold streamers, electric power supply was adapted to deposit adequate power into the package. The plasma streamers were generated by an alternating high voltage with carrier frequency of 12.5 kHz which was suppressed by a modulated pulsed signal at frequency of 110 Hz. The plasma exposition time was varied from 8 to 18 min to show the effect of the plasma treatment on fungal clearance while the electrode and sample remained at room temperature. This proved a positive effect of the cold streamers treatment on fungal clearance. Benefits of deactivation of fungal spores by streamers inside the package include no heating, short treatment time and adaptability to existing processes. Given its ability to ensure the safety and longevity of food products, this technology has great potential for utilization in food packaging and processing industry. In this study, moisture and pH changes of pistachio samples after plasma streamers treatment were also investigated.