Send to

Choose Destination
J Appl Bacteriol. 1991 Feb;70(2):161-5.

Short-chain organic acids at ph 5.0 kill Escherichia coli and Salmonella spp. without causing membrane perturbation.

Author information

Department of Veterinary Medicine, University of Bristol, Langford, Avon, UK.


When strains of Escherichia coli K12 and Salmonella spp. were incubated with 0.5-0.7 mol/l formic or propionic acid at pH 5.0, propionic acid was more active than formic acid. It killed 90% of the cell population within 60 min compared with over 3 h for formic acid. Cell death was not associated with a reduction in culture turbidity or a loss of membrane integrity since morphologically normal membranes were observed by electron microscopy and only a small proportion of the cytoplasmic enzyme beta-galactosidase leaked into the supernatant fluid of acid-treated E. coli K12 cultures.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center