AbstractA Swiss technology company created a number of cold plasma systems for decontamination (sterilisation/pasteurisation/pathogen removal) of food and food packaging material. Over years they have investigated interaction between various types of cold plasma with biological materials, cells and biomolecules. The company is seeking food processors/food packaging manufacturers to jointly develop, manufacture and validate commercial plants/equipment for decontamination and shelf live extension of food.
DetailsCompetition in the Food sector is growing. Producers have to find ways to differentiate themselves from the global competition by providing more value at a competitive price. Safe food and high quality food are strong values not only for the consumer but also for wholesalers and retailers.
Fruits, vegetables, grains, dried herbs and spices carry a wide range of microorganism that promote biodetoriation and some produce dangerous myco-toxins. Often they also carry residual quantities of pesticides which either cause some health problems or product stability problems when used in mixtures with other raw materials. Being produced by nature food has a large spectrum of parameters that have to be taken into consideration when trying to improve health and safety aspects of food.
Over the past two decades the Swiss company has developed novel plasma technologies and investigated how gas plasma interacts with biological particles (bacteria, yeasts, etc) and toxic molecules (myco-toxins, pesticides etc). The accumulated knowledge enables the company to design custom specific processes that reduce or eliminate pathogens on food and packaging enabling the food producer to present high quality and safe products to their clients.
Food has a wide range of physical and chemical properties. To obtain the anticipated microbiological, texture, colour, taste, fragrance, regulatory and economic properties it is necessary to select the appropriate plasma type. It is also important to design, analyze, fine-tune and to certify the process to achieve the target properties. This in turn enables the process user to obtain unique product properties to differentiate from competitors.
Depending on the market requirements there are demonstration units available or specific prototypes have to be evolved.
The Swiss company seeks to collaborate with forward looking food processing companies and/or food packaging equipment and plant manufacturers to jointly develop novel application specific and commercially competitive micro-organism reducing plant and equipment for the global markets. This is to ultimately provide safer and longer lasting food stuff e.g. more sterile herbs, spices, dried mushroom or cereals or sterile food packaging materials with improved gas barrier properties etc. This enables the process user to obtain unique product properties to differentiate from competitors.
1. Novel, ultra-fast sterilisation/preservation process (sterilisation takes only a few minutes)
2. Surface treatment process, doesn’t affect nutrients and vitamins within the food
3. Process operates at ambient temperatures (ideal for thermolabile products
4. Depending of plasma type able to inactivate all types of pathogens
5. Low running cost (cost of natural gases and electricity)
6. Environmentally friendly (uses natural gases including nitrogen, argon, air, hydrogen and oxygen)
7. Highly experienced management team with sound track records.
8. Possibilities to co-finance Prototype development through public R & D grants.