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Rice Science
Volume 29 (1), 2022, Pages 1-15br>

Cold Plasma: A Potential Alternative for Rice Grain Postharvest Treatment Management in Malaysia?

Mohd Fadthul Ikmal Misnal1, Norizah Redzuan1, Muhamad Nor Firdaus Zainal1

School of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia, Johor Bahru 81310, Johor, Malaysia.

Abstract

Use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers is among the techniques to control insect pests and fungal pathogens. However, the technique is the major contributor to severe environmental implications in terms of air, water and soil pollution. Besides, variable inconsistency becomes an important issue in the implementation of inclined bed dryers, leading to significant rice grain loss. Cold plasma technology has been widely proposed as a potential alternative for rice grain postharvest treatment management due to the presence of generated ionised gas that eventually produces reactive oxygen species or reactive nitrogen species. These species are used to decontaminate foodborne pathogens, mycotoxins and bacterial diseases. This review explores the current literature regarding cold plasma treatment technology, focusing on its efficiency as the microbial decontamination medium and insect pest mortality medium, and on the enhancement functional, nutritional and cooking properties, especially in rice grains. Previous studies have successfully demonstrated the ability of cold plasma treatment to significantly reduce the microbial count of foodborne pathogens, detoxify mycotoxins, and control seedborne rice seedling bacterial diseases. Previous studies have also proved that the implementation of cold plasma technology in postharvest management should be seriously considered for improving rice grain quantity and quality in Malaysia.

Keywords: Rice grain, Postharvest management, Cold plasma, Microbial decontamination, Bacterial control.

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