Klorsafe – Chemistry & Mode of Action

Klorsafe contains Acidified Sodium Chlorite (ASC) which is approved by the FDA (21 CFR 173.325) as a ‘secondary direct food additive permitted in food for human consumption’ specifically as an antimicrobial intervention treatment for poultry carcasses, poultry carcass parts, red meat carcasses, red meat parts and organs, seafood, and raw agricultural commodities.

ASC is often confused with chlorine dioxide (ClO2), also approved by the FDA (21 CFR 173.300) as a secondary direct food additive largely because solutions of ASC can, under certain conditions, generate small quantities of chlorine dioxide. However, by judicious selection of reaction parameters (nature and concentration of activating acid, chlorite concentration, catalysts, total titratable acidity) chlorine dioxide formation is typically minimized in true ASC solutions. ASC is a highly effective, broad spectrum antimicrobial, which is produced by lowering the pH of a solution of sodium chlorite into the 2.5 to 3.2 range with any GRAS acid.

ASC chemistry is principally that of chlorous acid (HClO2), which is the metastable oxychlorine species, which forms on acidification of chlorite. Once formed, chlorous acid gradually decomposes to form chlorate ion, chlorine dioxide, and chloride ion. It is hypothesized that the mode of action of ASC derives from the uncharged chlorous acid, which is able to penetrate bacterial cell walls and disrupt protein synthesis by virtue of its reaction with sulfhydryl, sulfide, and disulfide containing amino acids and nucleotides. The undissociated acid is thought to facilitate proton leakage into cells and thereby increase energy output of the cells to maintain their normal internal pH thereby also adversely affecting amino acid transport.

Reference :

Session 91, Acidified sodium chlorite – an antimicrobial intervention for the food industry, 2001 IFT Annual Meeting – New Orleans, Louisiana.

Additional reading material :

FOOD STANDARDS AUSTRALIA NEW ZEALAND (FSANZ) FINAL ASSESSMENT REPORT APPLICATION A476 Acidified Sodium Chlorite as a Processing aid

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