Journal of Food Quality | 2021
Elimination of Aspergillus flavus from Pistachio Nuts with Dielectric Barrier Discharge (DBD) Cold Plasma and Its Impacts on Biochemical Indices
In the present research, the effects of different durations (0, 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, 150, and 180\u2009sec) of dielectric barrier discharge (DBD) cold plasma on decontaminating Aspergillus flavus, detoxifying pure aflatoxin B1 (AFB1), and the quality attributes of pistachio nuts (total phenolic content, antioxidant activity, chlorophylls, total carotenoids, instrumental color, total soluble protein, and malondialdehyde determination) were studied. The results showed that the viable spore population reduced with the increase of plasma treatment duration, so that after 180\u2009s of the treatment, a decrease by 4 logs was observed in the spore population. Chlorophyll a and b, as well as total carotenoid levels and color parameters, decreased, which led to darker pistachio samples and intensity reduction in soluble protein content and protein bands. Plasma treatment did not alter the total phenolic content but slightly increased the antioxidant activity of pistachio nuts samples. The malondialdehyde values significantly increased all the plasma treatment durations. The maximum reduction of AFB1 was observed after 180\u2009s of the treatment, which was 64.63% and 52.42% for glass slides and pistachio nut samples, respectively. The present findings demonstrated that cold plasma could be used as an efficient decontamination method of food products without inducing undesirable quality changes in nuts.