Scientists from Murdock University, Australia have figured out how to extend the shelf life of produce by several weeks. It appears that you can prevent the onset of mold by zapping fruits and vegetables with a cold plasma torch . The best part? It is a low energy, chemical free alternative to unhealthy preservatives and canned products.
Dr Kirsty Bayliss described cold plasma as “effectively lightning”
“Basically it’s just an ionised gas. You are applying an electrical current to a gas, and in our case we are just using the air and it creates this plasma.”
For the past 3 years Dr Bayliss and her team have been testing the device on Avocados donated by growers for storing and transporting produce.
Far from the earth, plasma is most commonly referred to in space weather. Our sun is said to consist of plasma, that is – a sort of “primorial soup” of ions, alpha particles and electrons. Hot plasma is regularly shuttled to our atmosphere through interplanetary magnetic flux rope that contribute in part to the intensity of geomagnetic storms.
The biggest difference? There does not appear to be very much information about how cold plasma could exist in nature, although it might. Presently, scientists create it from ionizing gas with a Bielectric Barrier Discharge or an Atmospheric Pressure Plasma Jet.
“It comes out as a flame like what you would see during lightning, and that actually zaps the fruit but it is only very low temperature,” she said. “It’s called cold plasma because it is room temperature. It’s not heating the fruit, it’s not going to affect the quality, which is a major advantage.”
Further hypothetical use involves energy production, as well as general healing of pain, inflammation and most diseases.
image credit: Murdoch University