The Potential of Cold Plasma for Safe and Sustainable Food Production
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1.3 PHYSICAL SCIENCES
Many factors lead to an increased demand for innovative sustainable technologies for the agriculture and food sectors, including an increasing global population, which in turn increases demand for food, water, and energy resources. The inputs to agriculture and food production are under regulatory review in many regions in terms of sustainability, human safety, and long-term ecosafety. Many of the persistent contamination, spoilage, and safety issues in the agriculture and food sectors are microbially derived, so pressure arises in parallel from the issue of antimicrobial resistance. Alternative approaches for microbial control across the agriculture and food sectors, as well as healthcare, are therefore required. Furthermore, the safety of foods in terms of their immune reactivity is increasingly important, and food producers are seeking ways to mitigate or reduce allergenicity either in foods or in processing environments. Atmospheric cold plasma (CP) is a flexible approach with demonstrated efficacy for controlling many risks across these sectors, and it has the potential to provide transformative and sustainable technology interventions. This potential is based on the combination of increased knowledge of mechanisms and interactions with known risks and advances in engineering and design.
Bourke, P. et al. (2018) The Potential of Cold Plasma for Safe and Sustainable Food Production, Trends in Biotechnology, Volume 36, Issue 6, June 2018, Pages 615-626. DOI: 10.1016/j.tibtech.2017.11.001