Atmospheric plasma processes for microbial inactivation: food applications and stress response in Listeria monocytogenes

Giorgia <1987> Gozzi, Lucia Vannini
This PhD thesis is focused on cold atmospheric plasma treatments (GP) for microbial inactivation in food applications. In fact GP represents a promising emerging technology alternative to the traditional methods for the decontamination of foods. The objectives of this work were to evaluate: - the effects of GP treatments on microbial inactivation in model systems and in real foods; - the stress response in L. monocytogenes following exposure to different GP treatments. As far as the first
more » ... , inactivation curves were obtained for some target pathogens, i.e. Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli, by exposing microbial cells to GP generated with two different DBD equipments and processing conditions (exposure time, material of the electrodes). Concerning food applications, the effects of different GP treatments on the inactivation of natural microflora and Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Enteritidis and Escherichia coli on the surface of Fuji apples, soya sprouts and black pepper were evaluated. In particular the efficacy of the exposure to gas plasma was assessed immediately after treatments and during storage. Moreover, also possible changes in quality parameters such as colour, pH, Aw, moisture content, oxidation, polyphenol-oxidase activity, antioxidant activity were investigated. Since the lack of knowledge of cell targets of GP may limit its application, the possible mechanism of action of GP was studied against 2 strains of Listeria monocytogenes by evaluating modifications in the fatty acids of the cytoplasmic membrane (through GC/MS analysis) and metabolites detected by SPME-GC/MS and 1H-NMR analyses. Moreover, changes induced by different treatments on the expression of selected genes related to general stress response, virulence or to the metabolism were detected with Reverse Transcription-qPCR. In collaboration with the Scripps Research Institute (La Jolla, CA, USA) also proteomic profiles following gas plasma exposure were analysed through Multidimensional Protein Identification Techn [...]
doi:10.6092/unibo/amsdottorato/7171 fatcat:mewwmhrl6vfmbmdxzpcnimnoxq