The accidental contamination of food and food packaging surfaces with SARS-CoV-2 is of increasing concern among scientists and consumers, particularly in relation to fresh foods that are consumed without further cooking. The use of chemical sanitizers is often not suitable for these kinds of commodities; therefore, a non-thermal sanitation technology could help to increase safety in relation to the food supply chain. Cold plasma has proven to be a promising strategy for virus inactivation. This research is aimed at evaluating the ability of a cold plasma sanitation system to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 RNA on packaged foods. Two different plastic materials were investigated and subjected to 5- and 10-min exposure to plasma after experimental inoculum of the RNA. In addition to viral degradation, possible changes in the performance of the materials were evaluated. Shelf-life of the foods, after exposure of the packages to plasma, was also investigated. Results showed that 10 min of exposure was sufficient to almost completely eliminate the viral RNA from package surfaces. The treatment did not produce any significant variation in packaging material performance or the shelf-life of the tested packaged products, indicating the potentiality of this treatment for the decontamination of packaged products.

Decontamination of food packages from SARS-CoV-2 RNA with a cold plasma-assisted system

Capelli F.;Tappi S.
;
Gritti T.;De Aguiar Saldanha Pinheiro A. C.;Laurita R.
;
Tylewicz U.;Spataro F.;Braschi G.;Lanciotti R.;Siracusa V.;Romani S.;Gherardi M.;Colombo V.;Sambri V.;Rocculi P.
2021

Abstract

The accidental contamination of food and food packaging surfaces with SARS-CoV-2 is of increasing concern among scientists and consumers, particularly in relation to fresh foods that are consumed without further cooking. The use of chemical sanitizers is often not suitable for these kinds of commodities; therefore, a non-thermal sanitation technology could help to increase safety in relation to the food supply chain. Cold plasma has proven to be a promising strategy for virus inactivation. This research is aimed at evaluating the ability of a cold plasma sanitation system to inactivate SARS-CoV-2 RNA on packaged foods. Two different plastic materials were investigated and subjected to 5- and 10-min exposure to plasma after experimental inoculum of the RNA. In addition to viral degradation, possible changes in the performance of the materials were evaluated. Shelf-life of the foods, after exposure of the packages to plasma, was also investigated. Results showed that 10 min of exposure was sufficient to almost completely eliminate the viral RNA from package surfaces. The treatment did not produce any significant variation in packaging material performance or the shelf-life of the tested packaged products, indicating the potentiality of this treatment for the decontamination of packaged products.
Capelli F.; Tappi S.; Gritti T.; De Aguiar Saldanha Pinheiro A.C.; Laurita R.; Tylewicz U.; Spataro F.; Braschi G.; Lanciotti R.; Galindo F.G.; Siracusa V.; Romani S.; Gherardi M.; Colombo V.; Sambri V.; Rocculi P.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/828585
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