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Configuration of an Atmospheric Cold Plasma System for the Pasteurization of Bovine Milk

Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.org

Citation:  2021 ASABE Annual International Virtual Meeting  2100995.(doi:10.13031/aim.202100995)
Authors:   Gretchen Anne Gustafson, Parameswaran Kumar Mallikarjunan, PhD
Keywords:   Cold plasma, atmospheric pressure plasma jet, milk, pasteurization, microbial inactivation.

Abstract. While pasteurization is by far and away the predominant method used to sterilize liquid cow‘s milk, pasteurization requires the application of heat to milk, unfavorably altering the milk physiochemically and organoleptically. Alternative technologies to pasteurization have been explored including the use of X-ray and UV radiation, pulsed electric field technology, membrane microfiltration and the application of nonthermal (cold) plasma. Cold plasma systems in their applications to bovine milk have previously used as a surface treatment or dielectric barrier discharge treatment of milk. This paper discusses a novel configuration used to apply atmospheric cold plasma to liquid milk for pasteurization by bubbling the cold plasma through the liquid milk, as well as, the steps taken to design and build a prototype. The designed configuration holds promise for industrial application, especially to be used in scaled-up applications and could one day contend with thermal pasteurization in the dairy industry as the primary methodology used to cold pasteurize cow‘s milk.

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