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Peracetic Acid used as fruit and vegetable wash benefits

Updated: Jul 31, 2021

Fruit and vegetable processors use disinfectant products to treat fruit and vegetables to reduce their microbial load and extend shelf-life. This also suppresses the growth of pathogenic microorganisms, such as Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria and reduce their numbers on treated produce.

citruses being mechanically washed

Globally, disinfectants are regulated by different bodies for different applications. Disinfectant products, including disinfectants that are used in the food industry in South Africa, are regulated by the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS). There are various types of disinfectant products approved for use on fruit and vegetables all over the world, including Bleach (sodium hypochlorite), chlorine dioxide (CIOS), peracetic acid (PAA), organic acids, etc.


One of the most widely used disinfectants is a blend of peracetic acid/hydrogen peroxide (PAA/HP). This chemical combination is referred to as a PAA product. In addition to its use as a disinfectant agent for treating fruit and vegetables, PAA has also been used for direct applications on other types of food, including poultry, red meat, seafood, nuts etc.


This article will focus on the benefits of using PAA as a disinfectant for treating/washing fruit and vegetables. Comparisons between PAA and sodium hypochlorite will be made as it is common for scientists, regulatory agencies and chemical suppliers to use Bleach as a standard to compare these types of chemicals and their applications.

Benefits of Using PAA for Fruit and Vegetables Wash:

  1. Peracetic acid is one of the strongest, most effective oxidizing disinfectant products in the market. Its oxidation potential surpasses that