In-package atmospheric cold plasma treatment of bulk grape tomatoes for microbiological safety and preservation.Food Res Int. 2018 06; 108:378-386.FR
Effects of dielectric barrier discharge atmospheric cold plasma (DACP) treatment on the inactivation of Salmonella and the storability of grape tomato were investigated. Grape tomatoes, with or without inoculation with Salmonella, were packaged in a polyethylene terephthalate (PET) commercial clamshell container and cold plasma-treated at 35 kV at 1.1 A for 3 min using a DACP system equipped with a pin-type high-voltage electrode. DACP treatment inactivated Salmonella (p < 0.05) without altering the color or firmness of the grape tomatoes (p > 0.05). DACP treatment inactivated Salmonella uniformly in both layers of the double-layer configuration of the grape tomatoes regardless of the position of the tomatoes in each layer. Salmonella was most efficiently inactivated when the headspace to tomato volume ratio of the container was highest. Integration of rolling of tomatoes during treatment significantly increased the Salmonella reduction rates from 0.9 ± 0.2 log CFU/tomato to 3.3 ± 0.5 log CFU/tomato in the double-layer configuration of the tomato samples. Rolling-integrated DACP also initially reduced the number of total mesophilic aerobic bacteria and yeast and molds in the double-layer configuration of tomato samples by 1.3 ± 0.3 and 1.5 ± 0.2 log CFU/tomato, respectively. DACP treatment effectively reduced the growth of Salmonella and indigenous microorganisms at 10 and 25 °C, and did not influence the surface color, firmness, weight loss, lycopene concentration and residual ascorbic acid of grape tomatoes during storage at 10 and 25 °C. DACP treatment holds promise as a post-packaging process for improving microbial safety against Salmonella and storability of fresh grape tomatoes.