Navigation Links
A zap of cold plasma reduces harmful bacteria on raw chicken in Drexel study
Date:2/2/2012

PHILADELPHIA (February 2, 2012) A new study by food safety researchers at Drexel University demonstrates that plasma can be an effective method for killing pathogens on uncooked poultry. The proof-of-concept study was published in the January issue of the Journal of Food Protection.

Although recent high-profile outbreaks of foodborne illness have involved contaminated fresh produce, the most common source of harmful bacteria in food is uncooked poultry and other meat products. The bacteria responsible for most foodborne illnesses, Campylobacter and Salmonella, are found on upwards of 70 percent of chicken meat tested.

Treating raw meat products to remove pathogens before they reach a consumer's home can reduce the risk of cross contamination during food preparation, according to senior author Dr. Jennifer Quinlan, an assistant professor in Drexel's College of Nursing and Health Professions. "If you could reduce contamination on the raw chicken, then you wouldn't have it in the kitchen," Quinlan said.

Past studies have shown that plasma could successfully reduce pathogens on the surface of fruits and vegetables without cooking them.

The value of using plasma "is that it is non-thermal, so there is no heat to cook or alter the way the food looks," said lead author Brian Dirks, a graduate student in the College of Arts and Sciences. Dirks and Quinlan worked with researchers from the University's Anthony J. Drexel Plasma Institute to test the use of plasma for poultry.

In the Drexel study, raw chicken samples contaminated with Salmonella enterica and Campylobacter jejuni bacteria were treated with plasma for varying periods of time. Plasma treatment eliminated or nearly eliminated bacteria in low levels from skinless chicken breast and chicken skin, and significantly reduced the level of bacteria when contamination levels were high.

The researchers also tested using plasma to treat samples of bacteria grown on agar, and demonstrated that antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria were as susceptible to plasma as the wild-type strains.

Plasma, known as the "fourth state of matter" (after solid, liquid and gas), is a high-energy, charged mixture of gaseous atoms, ions and electrons. Plasma has a wide range of potential applications including energy production and control, biomedical treatments and environmental remediation.

Quinlan described the plasma treatment of poultry in this study as "proof of concept." Current plasma technology is expensive relative to the narrow cost margins involved in food production, and the technology is not currently being developed for processing poultry on a large scale.

If plasma technology becomes cost-effective for use in treating poultry, it may be used in conjunction with existing methods to reduce pathogens, Dirks said, and it may also help prolong the shelf-life of raw chicken if it can be honed to remove more microorganisms responsible for spoilage.

"Until these technologies are more fully developed, consumers should assume that raw poultry has pathogens on it and take care to prevent infection," Quinlan said. "That means cooking thoroughly and making sure not to cross contaminate when handling uncooked meat and poultry."

Quinlan holds a a Ph.D. in food microbiology from North Carolina State University and bachelor's and master's degrees in food science from Rutgers University. Her research focuses on the microbiological quality and safety of food. Her ongoing work focuses on safe consumer handling of food.

The A.J. Drexel Plasma Institute recently received a $1 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation to expand its plasma research.


'/>"/>

Contact: Rachel Ewing
raewing@drexel.edu
215-895-2614
Drexel University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. How Toxoplasma gondii gets noticed
2. Plasma produces KO cocktail for MRSA
3. Modeling Toxoplasma focus of workshop
4. Toxoplasma gondii spreads in the habitat of the Iberian lynx
5. Atmospheric pressure plasma jet from a grounded electrode
6. Grant advances quark-gluon plasma studies

7. Scripps Research scientists redefine the role of plasma cells in the immune system
8. MIT researchers study the danger of toxoplasma parasites
9. RevaTen platelet-rich plasma shows promise as potential treatment for heart attacks
10. Plasma in bags
11. Ionized plasmas as cheap sterilizers for developing world
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/25/2017)... , Jan. 25, 2017 The Elements of ... (IAM) lifecycle is comprised of a comprehensive set ... purpose of maintaining digital identities and providing a ... applications. There are significant number of programs opted ... to time by optimizing processes and changing policies. ...
(Date:1/21/2017)... , Jan 20, 2017 Research and Markets ... Market 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global voice recognition biometrics market ... The report covers the present scenario and the ... To calculate the market size, the report considers the revenue generated ...
(Date:1/18/2017)... MINNETONKA, Minn. , Jan. 18, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... eClinical technology company that supports the entire spectrum ... 2016 has been another record-breaking year for the ... and market interest in MedNet,s eClinical products and ... to the tremendous marketplace success of ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/20/2017)... ... February 20, 2017 , ... Cancer diagnostics and ... Oncology™” (Crosswalk), a unique precision medicine knowledge visualization and decision support platform. ... Inspirata’s diagnostic cockpit and is downloadable as an app for any mobile device ...
(Date:2/20/2017)... ... February 20, 2017 , ... ... catheters associated with peritoneal dialysis, announced today that it has published the result ... system in Peritoneal Dialysis International (PDI), the official Journal of the International ...
(Date:2/20/2017)...  Atrius Health and IBM (NYSE: IBM ... to develop a cloud based service designed to ... view of the multiple influences on an individual,s ... be designed to support shared decision making between ... nonprofit healthcare organization with 875 physicians caring for ...
(Date:2/18/2017)... ... February 17, 2017 , ... The BMT ... the Center for International Blood & Marrow Transplant Research (CIBMTR) will take place ... , The combined scientific sessions offer investigators, clinicians, laboratory technicians, clinical research ...
Breaking Biology Technology: