Food Safety and Environmental Services

Food Equipment Cleaning and Sanitizing

Food Equipment Cleaning and Sanitizing: Water Chemistry and Quality, Sanitizer Properties

Table 3 - Comparison of the Chemical and Physical Properties in Commonly Used Sanitizers*
Property Chlorine Iodophors Quarternary-ammonium compounds Acid anionic Fatty Acid Peroxyacetic acid
Corrosive Corrosive Slightly corrosive Noncorrosive Slightly corrosive Slightly corrosive Slightly corrosive
Irritating to skin Irritating Not irritating Not irritating Slightly irritating Slightly irritating Not irritating
Effective at neutral pH Yes Depends on type In most cases No No Yes
Effective at acid pH Yes, but unstable Yes In some cases Yes, below 3.0-3.5 Yes, below 3.5-4.0 Yes
Effective at alkaline pH Yes, but less than at neutral pH No In most cases No No Less effective
Affected by organic material Yes Moderately Moderately Moderately Partically Partially
Affected by water hardness No Slightly Yes Slightly Slightly Slightly
Residual antimicrobial activity None Moderate Yes Yes Yes None
Cost Low High Moderate Moderate Moderate Moderate
Incompatibilities Acid solutions, phenols, amines Highly alkaline detergents Anionic wetting agents, soaps, and acids Cationic surfactants and alkaline detergents Cationic surfactants and alkaline detergents Reducing agents, metal ions, strong alkalies
Stability of use solution Dissipates rapidly Dissipates slowly Stable Stable Stable Dissipates slowly
Maximum level permitted by FDA without rinse 200ppm 25ppm 200ppm Varied Varied 100-200ppm
Water temperature sensitivity None High Moderate Moderate Moderate None
Foam level None Low Moderate Low/Moderate Low None
Phosphate None High None High Moderate None
Soil load tolerance None Low High Low Low Low

*Comparisons made at approved 'no-rinse use' levels. Adapted from B.R. Cords and G.R. Dychdala, 1993.