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Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Tech Transfer

Non-Thermal Sanitation By Atmospheric Pressure Plasma

Completed Technology Project

Project Description

Non-Thermal Sanitation By Atmospheric Pressure Plasma
ORBITEC's Non-Thermal Sanitation by Atmospheric Pressure Plasma technology sanitizes fresh fruits and vegetables without the use of consumable chemicals and without significantly raising the temperature of the food, so food taste and quality are not affected. Atmospheric pressure plasma is well known to be highly effective in promoting oxidation, enhancing molecular dissociation, and producing free radicals and other types of high energies. It has recently attracted much attention in the food industry due to its potential for being a non-thermal and highly effective sanitation method. The proposed technology will support surface sanitation of delivered fresh fruit and vegetables, and freshly prepared foods in a space-based habitat. It can function in reduced gravity and pressure environments, and is efficient in terms of waste and resource use. During this Phase 2 effort, designs of the primary operating components of the system will be refined and incorporated into a plasma processing chamber prototype capable of treating one to two servings of fresh food at a time. The antimicrobial performance of the prototype will be tested with a number of fruits/vegetables and different inoculums. The prototype will also be evaluated for the effect of plasma treatment on food quality. More »

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