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High voltage atmospheric cold plasma treatment inactivates Aspergillus flavus spores and deoxynivalenol toxin.

Authors
  • Ott, Logan C1
  • Appleton, Holly J2
  • Shi, Hu2
  • Keener, Kevin2
  • Mellata, Melha3
  • 1 Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA; Interdepartmental Microbiology Graduate Program, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA.
  • 2 Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA.
  • 3 Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA; Interdepartmental Microbiology Graduate Program, Iowa State University, Ames, IA, USA. Electronic address: [email protected]
Type
Published Article
Journal
Food Microbiology
Publisher
Elsevier
Publication Date
May 01, 2021
Volume
95
Pages
103669–103669
Identifiers
DOI: 10.1016/j.fm.2020.103669
PMID: 33397632
Source
Medline
Keywords
Language
English
License
Unknown

Abstract

Fungal contamination is a concern for the food industry. Fungal spores resist food sterilization treatments and produce mycotoxins that are toxic for animals and humans. Technologies that deactivate spores and toxins without impacting food quality are desirable. This study demonstrates the efficiency of a high voltage atmospheric cold plasma (HVACP) technology using air to generate reactive oxygen (ROS) and nitrogen (RNS) species for the degradation of Aspergillus flavus cultures and the deoxynivalenol (DON) mycotoxin. Optical emission and absorption spectroscopy demonstrate ionization of hydroxyl groups, atomic oxygen and nitrogen, and confirm production of ROS and RNS, e.g. O3, NO2, NO3, N2O4, and N2O5. Fungal cultures show a depletion in pigmentation and an ~50% spore inactivation after 1-min treatments. Treated spores show surface ablation and membrane degradation by scanning electron microscopy. Twenty-minute direct HVACP treatments of 100 μg of DON in one mL aqueous suspensions resulted in a greater than 99% reduction in DON structure and rescued over 80% of Caco-2 cell viability; however, the same treatment on 100 μg of powdered DON toxin only showed a 33% reduction in DON and only rescued 15% of cell viability. In summary, HVACP air treatment can inactivate both fungal spores and toxins in minutes. Copyright © 2020. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

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