Reusability of Antimicrobial Plant Washes

Case ID:

University of Arizona researchers have developed plant compounds that can be used multiple times in wash water without the loss of antimicrobial efficacy.


Post-harvest treatment is currently conducted with chemical sanitizers to control microbial contamination on organic produce. The wash waters could be reused up to five times for washing organic leafy greens. These wash waters provide an alternative sanitization option.



  • Post-harvest treatment washing of organic produce



  • 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
  • Wash liquids can be reused to lower costs, but still maintain efficacy against microorganisms
  • Plant compounds have health benefits such as reduction in cholesterol, anti-oxidative, anti-diuretic, and anti-carcinogenic activities
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