MadSci Network: Microbiology

Re: Do preservatives prevent bacterial growth, or kill it?

Date: Wed Dec 21 10:19:44 2005
Posted By: Edward Richter, Faculty, Food Microbiology
Area of science: Microbiology
ID: 1133228583.Mi

It depends on the preservative and the length of time. Generally, food preservatives such as sorbic acid and benzoic acid inhibit growth (reproduction). However, many bacteria, yeast and some mold will eventually die if they do not reproduce. The addition of preservatives to food does not render contaminated food safe to eat.

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