The use of plasma technology in food processing and water treatment is being researched by the Thailand Institute of Nuclear Technology (Tint) to boost safety in the kingdom.
Thawatchai Onchan, institute director, said people can contract food-borne illnesses after consuming products contaminated with germs and other impurities.
This has compelled Tint to explore the application of advanced plasma technology to tackle the problem, Mr Thawatchai said, referring to the use of cold atmospheric pressure plasma.
Mr Thawatchai said plasma is safe to use, and it can replace chemicals across many industries, including agriculture.
He said the institute is experimenting on how to kill bacteria, dilute pesticides in fruit and vegetables and remove pollutants from the environment using the technology.
If the research proves successful, a prototype device can be developed and used on an industrial scale, he said.
Since the technology is relatively new, it is still expensive to operate, he said.
Somsak Dantip, manager of Tint's centre for nuclear technology engineering, said the institute is developing two plasma technology machines.
One is aimed at killing germs and reducing pesticide, he said. It can be applied in the use of tap water containing chlorine, he said, adding the chemical reaction turns chlorine into an agent to remove viruses, bacteria and fungus from fresh produce and meat.
Meanwhile, the other machine is aimed at treating polluted water in the environment, Mr Somsak said.