Cold plasma as chemical-free decontamination method

Cold atmospheric plasma is an innovative technology that can be applied for the mild sterilization of perishable surfaces (including food) as an alternative to established methods based on – sometimes excessive – heat, or the use of chemicals. Wageningen Food & Biobased Research is planning to start a public private project to accelerate the innovation process of plasma technology. The call for partners is open until June 30th 2017.

Gas plasma has been shown to be effective by various research groups in inactivating foodborne pathogens and spoilage microorganisms, as well as heat- and chemical-resistant spores. Besides application on food, plasma can be applied as a non-thermal, chemical-free method to sterilize food packaging materials such as polymer bottles and packaging foil or process equipment and conveyer belts.

The project will take a multidisciplinary approach and involve the Technical University of Eindhoven (Tu/e) and technology providers from industry and food industries as utilizers searching for alternatives to thermal or chemical-based sterilization methods for food applications.

Project goal

The aim of the planned project is to accelerate the innovation process of plasma technology by developing a number of successful plasma product applications that can serve as showcases for the broad range of potential applications of plasma-based sterilization systems for the food industry.

Plasma technologies currently available at TU/e and other consortium partners will be further developed for selected applications in the food industry.

Start date: January 1, 2018
End project: December 31, 2021

Consortium is open for partners

The consortium is open for partners active in the AgriFood sector that are interested in the application of plasma technology for their products/ingredients.

The following parameters will be tested to select applications:
- the microbial reduction realised after treatment with plasma;
- the impact of plasma treatment on product quality and sensorial parameters;
- safety (including toxicological).

Companies who participate in this public private partnership will gain a better understanding of the opportunities that plasma technology may provide for them and benefit from early adoption of this technology.