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Review Article |

Microbial Inactivation Mechanism and Properties of Slightly Acidic Electrolyzed Water: A Review

Slightly acidic electrolyzed water (SAEW) obtained by electrolyzing 2-6% dilute hydrochloric acid in a chamber without membrane is novel non-thermal sanitizer widely used in the sterilization of foods such as fruits, vegetables, and meat owing to its effective antibacterial activity and low operating costs. Despite the well-documented and validated antimicrobial and sporicidal properties of SAEW, its precise mode of action against bacteria and bacterial spores remains uncertain and subject to ongoing debate. The primary aim of this review article is to scrutinise the active constituents of SAEW that contribute to its antimicrobial properties. Additionally, the review critically elucidates the mechanisms by which SAEW effectively inactivate vegetative bacteria cells and spores, based on a comprehensive scrutiny of existing literature. It is demonstrated that the application of SAEW can kill vegetative bacterial cells by the disruption of their cellular membrane, disruption of their intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) balance, and lowering their ATP levels, deactivation of key enzyme and damaging DNA affecting other bacterial cells vitals. Bacterial spore inactivation by SAEW being achieved through the induction of structural modifications in the spores, including coat damage, mutagenesis, and alterations in the properties of the inner membrane (IM).

Slightly Acidic Electrolyzed Water, Microbial Inactivation, Mechanism, Food Pathogens, Bacterial Spores

APA Style

Issa-Zacharia, A. (2023). Microbial Inactivation Mechanism and Properties of Slightly Acidic Electrolyzed Water: A Review. International Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology, 8(4), 110-121.

ACS Style

Issa-Zacharia, A. Microbial Inactivation Mechanism and Properties of Slightly Acidic Electrolyzed Water: A Review. Int. J. Microbiol. Biotechnol. 2023, 8(4), 110-121. doi: 10.11648/j.ijmb.20230804.16

AMA Style

Issa-Zacharia A. Microbial Inactivation Mechanism and Properties of Slightly Acidic Electrolyzed Water: A Review. Int J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2023;8(4):110-121. doi: 10.11648/j.ijmb.20230804.16

Copyright © 2023 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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