Plasma 4 Hygiene

The Plasma 4 Hygiene project aims at the development of plasma technology for application in the food industry in a multidisciplinary project involving knowledge institutes, companies from the high-tech sector and food industry.

Food safety and reduction of food loss are topics high on the agenda of food producers. Non-thermal atmospheric plasma’s (NTAP) increasingly receive attention as surface disinfection technology by the food industry as alternative for chemical and physical methods currently in place to disinfect food or food contact surfaces.

Antimicrobial surface treatments

NTAP offers dry and wet applications for antimicrobial surface treatments at relatively low temperature with proven effectivity against bacteria, fungi, and microbial spores. The low treatment temperature of NTAP allows application on food-relevant surfaces, including food packaging and food surfaces, that do not tolerate thermal treatments.

Despite the above mentioned advantages of NTAP and proven effectivity against microbial contaminants, a barrier to market uptake is the lack of demonstration on a relevant scale and the limited knowledge on impact on the nutritional and sensory quality or potential toxicological effects of the chemical species generated. Moreover, the standardization and position of this technology with regard to food legislation are a hurdle to implementation of this technology.

In order to come to a successful development of plasma technology, a joined effort is required of research institutes, technology providers, and industrial partners with expertise in the field of plasma technology, food microbiology and food processing.

Aim of this project

This project aims to provide a selection of successful applications of different plasma–food product applications that serve as an accelerator of the technology.

In the project, three different forms of plasma technology will be exploited, namely plasma activated water, plasma gas jets and sDBD gas plasma. The consortium consists of knowledge partners with extensive expertise in food processing (Wageningen Food & Biobased Research) and plasma application for high tech systems (TU/e-EES), technology providers (Vital Fluid, Ation BV), and potential end-users (Marel, FLM Food Ingredients, NZO).

Expected results

The technology can only be proven successful when it is actually applied in the practical environment The project outcomes is expected to results in development of successful plasma -food product applications at demonstration level. The project involves relevant stake holders in plasma technology, food industry and knowledge partners which will strengthen the development of plasma technology under relevant conditions.

Eventually, we aim to exploit plasma technology as sustainable technology that could enhance food safety and reduce food spoilage.