Susceptibility of Penicillium expansum spores to sodium hypochlorite, electrolyzed oxidizing water, and chlorine dioxide solutions modified with nonionic surfactants

Derrick O. Okull, Ali Demirci, Dave Rosenberger, Luke F. LaBorde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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The use of water flotation tanks during apple packing increases the risk of contamination of apples by spores of Penicillium expansum, which may accumulate in the recirculating water. Routine addition of sanitizers to the water may prevent such contamination. Sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl), chlorine dioxide (ClO2), and electrolyzed oxidizing (EO) water have varied activity against spores of P. expansum, and their effectiveness could be enhanced using surfactants. The objective of this study was to determine the ability of three nonionic surfactants, polyoxyethylene sorbitan monooleate (Tween 80), polyoxyethylene sorbitan monolaurate (Tween 20), and sorbitan monolaurate (Span 20), to enhance the efficacy of NaOCl, ClO2, and EO water against spores of P. expansum in aqueous suspension at various temperatures and pH conditions. The efficacy of NaOCl solutions was enhanced by the addition of surfactants at both pH 6.3 and pH 8 (up to 5 log CFU reduction). EO water and ClO2 were effective against P. expansum spores (up to 5 log CFU and 4 log CFU reduction, respectively), but addition of surfactants was not beneficial. All solutions were less effective at 4°C compared to 24°C irrespective of the presence of surfactants. Nonionic surfactants could potentially be used with NaOCl to improve control of P. expansum in flotation tanks, but the efficacy of such formulations should be validated under apple packing conditions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1944-1948
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology

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