A New and Simple Approach for Decontamination of Food Contact Surfaces with Gliding Arc Discharge Atmospheric Non-Thermal Plasma
Dasan, Beyhan Gunaydin
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In this study, a gliding arc discharge (GAD) microplasma system was designed, and its decontamination effect was investigated on stainless steel (SS), silicone (Si), and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) surfaces artificially contaminated with 8.15 +/- 0.28 log cfu/mL of Escherichia coli and 6.18 +/- 0.21 log cfu/mL of Staphylococcus epidermidis. Each of the contaminated surfaces was treated with high purity air (79% nitrogen and 21% oxygen) or nitrogen plasmas for 1-10 min at varying rates of gas flow. Significant reductions of 3.76 +/- 0.28, 3.19 +/- 0.31, and 2.95 +/- 0.94 log cfu/mL in S. epidermidis, and 2.72 +/- 0.82, 4.43 +/- 0.14, and 3.18 +/- 0.96 log cfu/mL in E. coli on SS, Si, and PET surfaces, respectively, were achieved after 5 min of plasma treatment by using nitrogen as the plasma forming gas (p < 0.05). The temperature changes of each surface during plasma generation were lower than 35 degrees C and were not affected by the type of plasma forming gas. Additionally, morphological changes in the structure of E. coli and S. epidermidis after GAD plasma treatments were demonstrated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM).