Method to Improve Effectiveness of Antimicrobial Essential Oils

Technology #ua16-234

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Sadhana Ravishankar
Associate Professor, Animal and Comparative Biomedical Sciences
Govindaraj Dev Kumar
Postdoctoral Research Associate II, Animal & Biomedical Sciences
Libin Zhu
Research Specialist, Animal & Biomedical Sciences
Managed By
Tod Mccauley


The invention is a microemulsion technology to reduce the surface tension of oil in water. This microemulsion technology can improve the coating on the surface of produce, therefore increasing antimicrobial activity.



Plant essential oils are known to improve antimicrobial activity and are an excellent option for post-harvest treatment without the use of chemicals. Unfortunately, when water is present, these oils do not mix well and will reduce antimicrobial activity. To combat this, researchers at the University of Arizona developed this technology to promote microemulsion of oil droplets that are stable in water.



  • Organic antimicrobial plant wash for produce



  • Provides more stability than chemical sanitizers
  • Increased biodegradability
  • Increased antimicrobial activity, which requires less treatment and increases savings


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