Cold atmospheric pressure air plasma jet disinfection of table eggs: Inactivation of Salmonella enterica, cuticle integrity and egg quality

Bahareh Abdoli, Mohammad Hadi Khoshtaghaza, Hamid Ghomi, Mohammad Amir Karimi Torshizi, Saman Abdanan Mehdizadeh, Gholam Pishkar, Ian C Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Eggshell cuticles are first lines of defense against egg-associated pathogens, such as Salmonella enterica serovar Enteritidis (SE). Infections from eggs contaminated with this strain remain a significant risk. In addition, changes in the cuticle are closely related to changes in egg safety. The emerging non-thermal atmospheric pressure plasma technology enables a high rate of microbial inactivation at near-ambient temperatures, making it ideal for food safety applications. This study examines the effects of a cold atmospheric pressure air plasma jet (CAAP-J) on eggshell cuticle and egg quality whilst inactivating SE. Shell eggs inoculated with SE (7 log10 cfu/egg) were used as the samples to test the decontamination performance of the device. The tests were conducted using an industrial CAAP-J with different power levels (600-800 W), exposure times (60-120 s), at a fixeddistance of 20 mm from the plasma jet and an air flow rate of 3600 L/h. It was found that the best results were obtained after 120 s at maximum plasma power (800 W). Subsequent to the implementation of this plasma procedure, it was determined that no viable cells could be detected. After CAAP-J treatment, the temperature remains below 50.5 °C, thereby minimizing the risk of altering egg quality. All specific measurements (egg white pH, yolk pH, yolk color, HU, and eggshell breaking strength) have shown that CAAP-J treatment has no negative effect on egg quality. No changes in eggshell cuticle quality after CAAP-J treatment was confirmed through scanning electron microscope (SEM).

Original languageEnglish
Article number110474
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Volume410
Early online date4 Nov 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Nov 2023

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • Salmonella
  • Cold plasma
  • Eggshell decontamination
  • ATR-FTIR
  • Egg quality
  • Chemical composition

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