Answers to questions about slightly acidic hypochlorous acid water in 2023: Everything you care about is here


1. Can hypochlorous acid water eliminate biofilm?

Yes, hypochlorous acid is highly effective in removing biofilms and preventing their formation.

2. What are the requirements for effective chlorine concentration in slightly acidic hypochlorous acid water when used in food?

For disinfecting fruits, vegetables, seafood, and other foods, a concentration of 20-30ppm is highly effective. The FDA permits a maximum concentration of 60ppm. No rinsing is required after disinfection. For food contact surfaces, 20-30ppm is also effective, but the FDA permits concentrations up to 200ppm. For water disinfection, 1-2ppm is effective, but the EPA allows up to 4ppm.

3. What are the primary research areas for hypochlorous acid water?

The most extensively researched application is its use in the food industry, focusing on food hygiene and cleanliness of food contact surfaces. Other areas include the disinfection and sterilization of healthcare equipment, wound care, and general sanitation against MRSA and spore-forming organisms. Research also spans animal husbandry, agriculture, water treatment, and public health.

4. Is it effective against Listeria, Salmonella, and E. coli?

Yes, much of the research on hypochlorous acid’s effectiveness targets these microbial pathogens.

5. How effective is it against MRSA and Clostridium difficile?

Hypochlorous acid effectively combats MRSA. Given the challenges in culturing Clostridium in labs, researchers often use Bacillus species (also spore-forming and tougher to kill) as surrogates in experiments.

6. Does it work against norovirus?

Yes, there are published research papers on its effectiveness against norovirus.

7. How safe is slightly acidic hypochlorous acid water?

It is non-toxic, harmless, and non-irritating to eyes, skin, and the respiratory system. Even if ingested accidentally, it’s unlikely to cause harm.

8. Can it be applied directly to food?

Absolutely. The FDA’s Food Contact Notice 1811 allows its use on raw or processed food items, including fruits, vegetables, fish, seafood, meat, poultry, and eggs, up to a concentration of 60ppm.

9. Does it alter the food’s taste or aroma?

At FDA-approved concentrations, it won’t impact the taste or aroma of the food.

10. Does it leave harmful residues on food?

No. The FDA has cleared hypochlorous acid at concentrations up to 60ppm, confirming it doesn’t leave any harmful residues.

11. Is it safe for kids and pets?

Yes, low-concentration hypochlorous acid water is entirely safe and non-irritating. Its safety profile supports its use in disinfecting personal items like toothbrushes, baby soothers, and pet toys.

12. Does it harm fabrics or cause discoloration?

Hypochlorous acid water generally doesn’t bleach or discolor fabrics, but some lower-quality dyes might fade upon exposure.

13. Which industries utilize hypochlorous acid water?

It finds applications in catering, food and beverage processing, animal husbandry, agriculture, healthcare, education, cruise ships, water treatment, and pharmaceuticals.

14. How is it employed in the catering sector?

It’s used as a no-rinse disinfectant for various food items and ensures sanitation of kitchen tools and surfaces. Restaurants use it to clean tables, seating areas, and large spaces with hoses or foggers. It also serves as a hand sanitizer and replaces other harmful cleaning agents.

15. How is it used in the seafood industry?

It’s a rinse-free disinfectant during seafood harvesting and processing. The FDA permits its use in ice for seafood storage or display up to 60ppm. It can also clean equipment and workspaces, and workers can step into footbaths or be sprayed upon entering facilities.

16. In beverage and dairy production?

It can generate sterile water for manufacturing, sterilize bottled containers, remove biofilms in cleaning systems, and clean equipment. Workers can use footbaths or be sprayed with it upon entry.

17. In hotels?

It disinfects fabrics, surfaces, and large areas like guest rooms and public spaces. It replaces concentrated toxic chemicals and is used for pools, washrooms, and floors, as well as for hand hygiene.

18. In hospitals?

It disinfects fabrics, replaces toxic disinfectants, disinfects large areas like wards, and ensures hygiene in cafeterias.

19. In pharmaceutical production?

It maintains a sterile environment, removes biofilms, and ensures cold sterilization of equipment.

20. In schools?

It replaces harmful disinfectants for cleaning, prevents outbreaks of diseases like hand-foot-mouth disease, ensures food safety in cafeterias, and promotes hand hygiene.

21. Maximum concentration for food use?

The FDA allows up to 60ppm for direct food application.

22. Maximum concentration for food contact surfaces?

Per the EPA, it’s 200ppm.

23. Do you need to rinse food after application?

No, if the concentration is 60ppm or below.

24. Can it be used for drinking water disinfection?

Yes, the EPA permits up to 4 mg/L for this purpose.

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