The effect of Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA) on the bactericidal activity of Fatty Acids (FA) was examined. A 0.5 M concentration of caproic, caprylic, capric, or lauric acid in 1.0 M Potassium Hydroxide (KOH) was supplemented with 0, 5, or 10 mM of EDTA and adjusted to pH 11.0 with citric acid. FA-KOH-EDTA was added to wells in agar seeded with 106 cfu/ml of Acinetobacter calcoaceticus, Aeromonas hydrophila, Campylobacter jejuni, Enterococcus faecalis, Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Salmonella typhimurium, or Staphylococcus simulans. Agar plates were incubated aerobically at 35°C for 24 h, except for C. jejuni plates which were incubated microaerophilically at 42°C for 48 h and zones of inhibition around the wells were measured. Results indicated that although caproic acid-KOH inhibited growth of C. jejuni only, caproic acid-KOH supplemented with EDTA produced significantly (p<0.05) larger zones of C. jejuni as well as zones of inhibition of A. calcoaceticus, E. faecalis and P. fluorescens. Caprylic acid-KOH produced zones of inhibition of all isolates except A. calcoaceticus, L. monocytogenes and S. simulans, but supplementation with EDTA produced zones of inhibition of the 3 isolates in addition to increases in the size of zones of inhibition of E. faecalis and Salmonella Typhimurium. Capric acid-KOH and lauric acid-KOH inhibited all isolates and supplementing both mixtures with EDTA generally produced larger zones of inhibition. Findings indicate that the addition of EDTA to formulations of FA-KOH may increase the ability of these sanitizers to reduce contamination of poultry processing operations.
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