Research – Use of Cold Plasma To Inactivate Escherichia coli and Physicochemical Evaluation in Pumpkin Puree

Journal of Food Protection 

CDC E.coli

This work aimed to study the pumpkin puree processing by cold plasma corona discharge as an alternative to heat treatment to reduce Escherichia coli contamination and evaluate physicochemical alterations, using argon (Ar) as the process gas. The treatment time to verify E. coli inactivation was between 2 and 20 min, while physicochemical alterations were analyzed at 5, 10, 15, and 20 min. Cold plasma corona discharge technology to inactivate E. coli proved to be promising, reaching 3.62 log cycles of reduction at 20 min of treatment. The inactivation kinectics showed a tendency of higher decrease with time. Physicochemical characteristics indicate that plasma induces a decrease of pH; however, there is an indication that process gases have an important role and react with the environment and procedure reactive species. This technology may reduce the total carotenoid content of pumpkin puree and in color, mainly the a* parameter, which showed great reduction.

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