Summary of Awards to Date

Understanding the mode of action of cold plasma sterilisation on foodborne pathogens.

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Jan. 1, 2006 - Dec. 1, 2008

Award Number

CCFRA Project 91462

Funding Agency

CCFRA - Campden Chorleywood Food Research Association


John Holah, Ph.D.
CCFRA - Campden Chorleywood Food Research Association


Cold gas plasmas are produced under ambient conditions. Their anti-microbial effects offer an unprecedented opportunity of treating fresh foods so as to reduce the microbial pathogen loading on them without adversely affecting the nutritional and other key characteristics of the food. This project will obtain kinetic information on the inactivation of key microbial species including Salmonella, Campylobacter, E. coli and spores of Bacillus spp. The resistance of these organisms to disinfection treatments is known to depend on the physiological state of the cells and it will be established whether this is also the case for cold gas plasmas. The effects of parameters such as temperature, salt concentration, and water activity on microbial susceptibility or resistance to cold plasmas will also be explored. Information on the modes of inactivation will be invaluable in 'tuning' the performance of cold plasmas to achieve maximum efficacy under given conditions, so the effect of cold plasmas on cell membranes, nucleic acids and protein expression will be explored.