Cold plasma is emerging as one of the most important new food processing technologies of recent years. Plasma is created by ionizing a gas, partially or completely.
A variant form of cold plasma treatment is one in which the reactive chemical species are captured in water, either in solution (plasma-activated water, PAW) or in discrete fine droplets (plasma-activated mist, PAM). For PAW, the plasma is generated and injected into a mass of water; for PAM, the water droplets are passed through a dielectric barrier discharge or plasma jet.
Although 33 percent of the 95.3 billion eggs produced each year in the United States are processed into liquid eggs or egg whites, the majority are sold as intact shell eggs. Raw eggs are a known food safety hazard, with Salmonella contamination an ongoing concern.
Chlorine dioxide (ClO2) is an increasingly popular sanitizer. Applied as an aqueous solution, ClO2 can yield greater than 99.99 percent reductions of bacterial pathogens on foods and food contact surfaces.