In package control of Rhyzopertha dominica in wheat using a continuous atmospheric jet cold plasma system
Cold plasma is recognized and explored for a plethora of applications in the food and agricultural industry. This study investigated the influence of a continuous atmospheric pressure non-thermal jet plasma system on the mortality of Rhyzopertha dominica adults in whole wheat kernels and the changes in the milling and physicochemical attributes of the treated whole wheat. Air-filled packets of whole wheat kernels were artificially infested with R. dominica adults. The packages were carried by a continuous conveyor belt and treated with plasma at voltages ranging from 44-47 kV for 4-7 min. The mortality was determined after 24 h and milling yield, particle size, proximate composition, and color of plasma-treated and untreated wheat grains were also evaluated. The maximum mortality was 88.33% at 47 kV for 7 min. The milling yield, protein, and fiber content of wheat were enhanced with plasma treatment significantly. Thus the continuous atmospheric pressure jet plasma used in this study could be one of the practically implementable emerging techniques for the commercial disinfestation of packaged food products.
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