Natural Antimicrobial Plant Wash Formulation

Case ID:

This invention is an antimicrobial wash for use in post-harvest treatment of produce. The antimicrobial plant wash is a blend of essential oils and plant extracts that are Generally Recognized As Safe ingredients (GRAS).


Post-harvest treatment is currently conducted with chemical sanitizers to control microbial contamination on organic produce. Chlorine is a common chemical sanitizer used, but it is known to form carcinogenic compounds such as trihalomethane. The invention utilizes energy and environmentally friendly plant antimicrobials for use in the organic fresh produce industry.



  • Post-harvest treatment washing for organic produce 
  • Natural, antimicrobial personal care products (liquid soap, body wash, etc.)



  • Plant extracts and essential oils do not corrode washing equipment unlike chlorine
  • Plant antimicrobials are more biodegradable
  • Plant antimicrobials are more stable than chemical sanitizers
  • Plant antimicrobials can continue to inhibit growth of microorganisms during storage
  • Wash liquids can be reused to lower costs, but still maintain efficacy against microorganisms
  • Plant compounds provide health benefits such as reduction in cholesterol, anti-oxidative, anti-diuretic, and anti-carcinogenic activities
  • Plant compounds can also be used as unique flavoring for foods

Related Publications:

Todd J., Friedman M., Patel J., Jaroni D., Ravishankar S. (2013). The antimicrobial effects of cinnamon leaf oil against multi-drug resistant Salmonella Newport on organic leafy greens. Int J Food Microbiol. 166(1):193-9

Patent Information:
Contact For More Information:
Tod McCauley
Assistant Director of Licensing, CALS
The University of Arizona
Lead Inventor(s):
Sadhana Ravishankar
Libin Zhu
Govindaraj Dev Kumar