Improving food safety using plasma sterilisation

In this multidisciplinary project, you will investigate the use of a high energy form of matter (plasma) to improve food safety. 

Seeds and grains are commonly contaminated with microbes. Eating contaminated products can result in serious adverse health complications. Planting contaminated seeds can result in loss of plant viability or increased biosecurity risk from the spread of an invasive pathogen. The use of plasma for sterilisation is an innovative approach that could reduce reliance on fungicides and harsh chemical treatments.

In this project, you will investigate seed/grain decontamination using plasma and evaluate biological outcomes. Experiments will determine protocols for effectively decontaminating seeds and grains. You will then evaluate sterility and plant viability by germinating/culturing the treated seeds/grains and assessing microbial burden or germination. 

While this project involves processes in the chemical and physical sciences, a background in biological sciences or microbiology would be an asset.


Bryan Coad


Dr Bryan Coad

Research area: School of Agriculture Food & Wine, Adelaide GlycoScience Research Group

Recommended honours enrolment: Honours in Plant Science

Tagged in Honours projects - Plant science, Honours projects - Food and Nutrition Science, Honours projects - Agricultural science, Honours projects - Chemistry, Honours projects - Bryan Coad