Cold Plasma: A novel non thermal processing technology in the Agri-Food sector

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A webinar presented by Prof Brendan Gilmore, Professor of Pharmaceutical Microbiology at the School of Pharmacy, Queen’s University Belfast. Non thermal plasmas, or ‘cold plasmas’ are wholly or partially ionized gases, generated at or near ambient temperatures, which are investigated for their potential role in a variety of applications in biology. Cold plasmas contain a rich and diverse mixture of reactive chemical species (primarily reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, RONS) which can be harnessed for new applications in infection control, cancer treatment, contamination control and removal of harmful chemical residues. Cold plasmas can even be generated in liquids (plasma activated liquids) where they create unique chemical environments capable of replicating some of the biological activity of gaseous plasmas, such as microbial inactivation. In this presentation, Brendan discusses the background to the development of cold plasmas for medical applications, their mechanisms and spectrum of activity and focus on the potential of cold plasmas for exploitation in the food and agricultural space, where their use in control of contamination, pathogens and spoilage organisms provides unique opportunities for this exciting technology. safefood is a government body responsible for providing information about food safety and healthy eating on the island of Ireland.


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