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Food Microbiol. 2008 Feb;25(1):36-41. Epub 2007 Sep 4.

Reduction of bacteria on spinach, lettuce, and surfaces in food service areas using neutral electrolyzed oxidizing water.

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Department of Marine Science, Coastal Carolina University, P.O. Box 261954, Conway, SC 29528-6054, USA.


Food safety issues and increases in food borne illnesses have promulgated the development of new sanitation methods to eliminate pathogenic organisms on foods and surfaces in food service areas. Electrolyzed oxidizing water (EO water) shows promise as an environmentally friendly broad spectrum microbial decontamination agent. EO water is generated by the passage of a dilute salt solution ( approximately 1% NaCl) through an electrochemical cell. This electrolytic process converts chloride ions and water molecules into chlorine oxidants (Cl(2), HOCl/ClO(-)). At a near-neutral pH (pH 6.3-6.5), the predominant chemical species is the highly biocidal hypochlorous acid species (HOCl) with the oxidation reduction potential (ORP) of the solution ranging from 800 to 900mV. The biocidal activity of near-neutral EO water was evaluated at 25 degrees C using pure cultures of Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes, and Enterococcus faecalis. Treatment of these organisms, in pure culture, with EO water at concentrations of 20, 50, 100, and 120ppm total residual chlorine (TRC) and 10min of contact time resulted in 100% inactivation of all five organisms (reduction of 6.1-6.7log(10)CFU/mL). Spray treatment of surfaces in food service areas with EO water containing 278-310ppm TRC (pH 6.38) resulted in a 79-100% reduction of microbial growth. Dip (10min) treatment of spinach at 100 and 120ppm TRC resulted in a 4.0-5.0log(10)CFU/mL reduction of bacterial counts for all organisms tested. Dipping (10min) of lettuce at 100 and 120ppm TRC reduced bacterial counts of E. coli by 0.24-0.25log(10)CFU/mL and reduced all other organisms by 2.43-3.81log(10)CFU/mL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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