Disinfection of Clostridioides difficile on spinach with epigallocatechin-based antimicrobial solutions and sodium hypochlorite

Tosun M. N., Taylan Yalcın G., Korkmazer G., ZORBA M., CANER C., DEMİREL ZORBA N. N.

International Journal of Food Microbiology, vol.402, 2023 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 402
  • Publication Date: 2023
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2023.110301
  • Journal Name: International Journal of Food Microbiology
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus, Academic Search Premier, PASCAL, Aquatic Science & Fisheries Abstracts (ASFA), BIOSIS, Biotechnology Research Abstracts, CAB Abstracts, EMBASE, Environment Index, Food Science & Technology Abstracts, MEDLINE, Veterinary Science Database, DIALNET
  • Keywords: Acetic acid, Alternative washing, Borax, Decontamination, Green tea extract, Natural disinfectant
  • Çanakkale Onsekiz Mart University Affiliated: Yes


The removal of C. difficile inoculated on fresh spinach leaves washed with antimicrobial solutions was investigated. In addition, the effect of washing solutions on the total aerobic mesophilic bacteria (TAMB) and Enterobacteriaceae in the fresh spinach was examined. The fresh spinach was washed through immersion in different concentrations (MIC, 2xMIC, and 4xMIC) of the natural disinfectant solution (NDS) consisting of EDTA, borax, and epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) content developed in our laboratory and green tea extract-acetic acid (GTE-AA) for varying contact times (5 and 15 min). Different concentrations (50, 100, and 200 ppm) of sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl) and tap water as the control group were used to compare the effectiveness of the NDS. In addition, the effects of washing on the color, texture, and total phenol content of the spinach were determined. No statistical difference was observed in the washing of the spinach leaves with NDS prepared at 2xMIC and 4xMIC concentrations, while inhibition of C. difficile ranged between 2.11 and 2.32 logs. The highest inhibition was observed in the application of 50 ppm NaOCl for 15 min with a decrease of 2.88 logs in C. difficile spores. The GTE-AA and NDS decreased the number of TAMB by 2.27–3.08 log and, 3.21–3.66 log, respectively. Washing spinach leaves with natural disinfectant for 5 min caused a decrease of 2.58 logs in Enterobacteriaceae load, while washing with 50 ppm NaOCl for 15 min reduced Enterobacteriaceae load by 4 logs. Tap water was ineffective in reducing any microbial load. No difference was detected in the color parameters of the spinach through all washes. Although all antimicrobial washes made a difference in the texture of the spinach, the greatest loss in firmness was observed in the spinach washed with NaOCl. Washing spinach with epigallocatechin-based wash solutions can remove C. difficile in possible C. difficile contamination, thereby reducing the environmental load of C. difficile. Epigallocatechin-based disinfectants can be an alternative to chlorine-based disinfectants in improving the microbial quality of vegetables.