Skip to main content
ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Albany, California » Western Regional Research Center » Bioproducts Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #334786

Research Project: Technologies for Improving Industrial Biorefineries that Produce Marketable Biobased Products

Location: Bioproducts Research

Title: Testing for sustainable preservatives

item Byrne, Adam
item Hart-Cooper, William
item JOHNSON, KAJ - Method Products, Pbc
item Stanker, Larry
item Wong, Dominic
item Orts, William

Submitted to: Home and Personal Products Industry Magazine (HAPPI)
Publication Type: Trade Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/7/2015
Publication Date: 1/4/2016
Citation: Byrne, A.P., Hart-Cooper, W.M., Johnson, K., Stanker, L.H., Wong, D., Orts, W.J. 2016. Testing for sustainable preservatives. Home and Personal Products Industry Magazine (HAPPI). p. 2.

Interpretive Summary: Bacteria and fungi may be pathogenic and need to be prevented from growing in consumer products. However, widely used antimicrobials, such as triclosan and isothiazolinones, are harmful to humans and other species in the environment. To help develop safer alternatives to these substances, a rapid and qualitative antimicrobial test method was reported. This test uses hard-to-target bacterial and mold strains that are also used in commercial preservative testing labs. This protocol can be adapted to test antimicrobial properties in conventional growth media and product formulas, thereby filling an important need in the development of safer, more environmentally friendly preservatives.

Technical Abstract: Rising antimicrobial resistance and heath concerns of common antimicrobials warrants the development of new, safer antimicrobial agents. A rapid screening protocol was developed to assess the antimicrobial properties of natural and synthetic substances. Benchmark substances were evaluated against resilient strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Gram-negative bacteria) and Aspergillus brasiliensis (mold) relevant to preservative challenge testing protocols used in the home and personal care industries. This protocol enables the rapid and qualitative assessment of antimicrobial agents that exhibit improved human and environmental health characteristics.