Department of Food Science and Technology, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia, Griffin, GA 30223 1797, USA.
The effects of chlorine and pH on the bactericidal activity of electrolyzed (EO) water were examined against Escherichia coli O157:H7 and Listeria monocytogenes. The residual chlorine concentration of EO water ranged from 0.1 to 5.0 mg/l, and the pH effect was examined at pH 3.0, 5.0, and 7.0. The bactericidal activity of EO water increased with residual chlorine concentration for both pathogens, and complete inactivation was achieved at residual chlorine levels equal to or higher than 1.0 mg/l. The results showed that both pathogens are very sensitive to chlorine, and residual chlorine level of EO water should be maintained at 1.0 mg/l or higher for practical applications. For each residual chlorine level, bactericidal activity of EO water increased with decreasing pH for both pathogens. However, with sufficient residual chlorine (greater than 2 mg/l), EO water can be applied in a pH range between 2.6 (original pH of EO water) and 7.0 while still achieving complete inactivation of E. coli O157:H7 and L. monocytogenes.