The presence of chemical contaminants in foods and agricultural products is one of the major safety issues worldwide, posing a serious concern to human health. Nonthermal plasma (NTP) containing richly reactive oxygen and nitrogen species (RONS) has been trialed as a potential decontamination method. Yet, this technology comes with multiple downsides, including adverse effects on the quality of treated foods and limited exposure to entire surfaces on samples with hard-to-reach spots, further hindering real-life applications. Therefore, plasma-activated water (PAW) has been recently developed to facilitate the interactions between RONS and contaminant molecules in the liquid phase, allowing a whole surface treatment with efficient chemical degradation. Here, we review the recent advances in PAW utilized as a chemical decontamination agent in foods. The reaction mechanisms and the main RONS contributors involved in the PAW-assisted removal of chemical contaminants are briefly outlined. Also, the comprehensive effects of these treatments on food qualities (chemical and physical characteristics) and toxicological evaluation of PAW (in vitro and in vivo) are thoroughly discussed. Ultimately, we identified some current challenges and provided relevant suggestions, which can further promote PAW research for real-life applications in the future.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal