Research – Microbial Inactivation and Quality Preservation of Chicken Breast Salad Using Atmospheric Dielectric Barrier Discharge Cold Plasma Treatment

MDPI

Microbiological safety of ready-to-eat foods is paramount for consumer acceptability. The effects of in-package atmospheric dielectric barrier discharge cold plasma (ADCP) treatment on the microbiological safety and quality of model chicken salad (CS) were investigated in this study. CS, packaged in a commercial polyethylene terephthalate container, was treated with ADCP at 24 kV for 2 min. The inactivation of indigenous mesophilic bacteria, Salmonella, and Tulane virus in CS; growth of indigenous mesophilic bacteria and Salmonella in CS; and quality of CS during storage at 4 °C were then investigated. ADCP inactivated indigenous mesophilic bacteria, Salmonella, and Tulane virus by 1.2 ± 0.3 log CFU/g, 1.0–1.5 ± 0.2 log CFU/g, and 1.0 ± 0.1 log PFU/g, respectively. Furthermore, it effectively retarded the growth of the microorganisms, while not significantly affecting the color of chicken, romaine lettuce, and carrot, and the antioxidant capacity of all vegetables throughout storage at the tested temperatures (p > 0.05). The color, smell, and appearance of all vegetables evaluated on day 0 were not significantly different in the sensory test, regardless of the treatment (p > 0.05). Collectively, ADCP treatment effectively decontaminates packaged CS without altering its quality-related properties. View Full-Text

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