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This study aimed to investigate the inactivation mechanism of Bacillus cereus spores by slightly acidic electrolyzed water (SAEW). Spore inactivation efficacy of SAEW at different available chlorine concentrations (ACC, 20, 60 and 100 mg/L), as well as spore structures change, coat damage, mutagenesis, and inner membrane (IM) properties were examined. The viability of treated spores with lysozyme addition and spore germination induced by germinant was also examined. The results showed that SAEW could reach maximal 5.81 CFU/mL log reduction with ACC of 100 mg/L for 20 min treatment. Scanning and transmission electron photomicrographs indicated that SAEW treatment rendered spore surface ruptured, IM damage and core contents loss. No mutants were generated in survivors of SAEW treated-spores. SAEW significantly weakened spore viability in high salt medium, losing its ability to retain pyridine-2,6-dicarboxylic acid (DPA) at 85 °C. SAEW-treated spores germinated with l-alanine or inosine induction were mostly stained with propidium iodide (PI) but could not recover via lysozyme addition. Furthermore, SAEW treatment inhibited spore germination in the induction of germinant (mixture of l-alanine and inosine or dodecylamine). These findings indicated that SAEW inactivated spore primarily by damaging the spore IM. Copyright © 2021 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.


Chunling Zhang, Gaoji Yang, Panpan Shen, Yiqi Shi, Yu Yang, Yang Liu, Xiaodong Xia, Shaojin Wang. Inactivation mechanism of slightly acidic electrolyzed water on Bacillus cereus spores. Food microbiology. 2022 May;103:103951

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PMID: 35082068

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