Factors affecting the antibacterial action of acidified sodium chlorite (ASC), a widely used disinfectant, have not been determined. This study investigated the significant factors suggesting efficient production method to maximize bactericidal action of ASC.Methods and Results:
The effects of (i) preparation procedures (total three methods); (ii) initial concentrations of reactants: sodium chlorite (SC) and citric acid (CTA) (up to maximum solubility of each reactant) and (iii) final pH values (3·0 and 2·5) to the bactericidal action of ASC were investigated with a fixed final concentration of SC (10 ppm) using various foodborne pathogens (Escherichia coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella Typhimurium and Staphylococcus aureus). The antimicrobial compounds produced and the bactericidal effects depended on the preparation procedure and the initial concentrations of the reactants. The ASC prepared by premixing highly concentrated reactants (in particular > 40%) followed by dilution (dilution after reaction, DAR) was more effective in inactivating foodborne pathogens, and it produced higher antimicrobial compound (Cl2 and ClO2) yields than the other procedures. A 5-min treatment with ASC, produced using the other procedures, resulted in a reduction of < 3·5 log CFU ml−1 (Gram positive = 0·18–0·78; Gram negative = 0·03–3·49 log CFU ml−1), whereas ASC produced with the DAR procedure using the saturated reactants completely inactivated all of the test pathogens within 5 min without recovery (initial concentration = 6·94–7·08 log CFU ml−1).Conclusion:
The ASC production with the DAR procedure using the saturated reactants maximizes both the antimicrobial compound yields and bactericidal effects of the ASC solutions.Significance and Impact of the Study:
This study will contribute to increase the efficiency of ASC treatments for disinfections reducing the effective SC concentrations for industrial use.