Peracetic Acid (PAA) Testing

Introduction to PAA

Peroxyacetic acid, or peracetic acid and PAA as it is commonly known, is a common disinfection widely used in the food and beverage market and in the healthcare industry. A more powerful oxidizing agent than its chlorine counterparts, such as chlorine dioxide and sodium hypochlorite, PAA has become increasingly popular since it was first registered as an antimicrobial substance in 1985.

Peracetic acid (PAA) is described as an efficient “broad spectrum biocidal agent”. This means that it will effectively kill the majority of bacteria, including E. coli, Listeria, Salmonella which all cause food poisoning/gastrointestinal illnesses, and pseudomonas which can cause chest and blood infections.

Just like chlorine, PAA is an oxidizing agent, and works as a disinfectant by damaging the cell walls of microorganisms that are present in the water. Once the cell wall is damaged, the bacteria will die, and so no longer pose a threat to human/animal health.

Where is PAA used

  • Food and beverage – PAA is widely used as a disinfectant across the food and beverage industry, including for dairy, meat, poultry, brewing and bottling applications.
  • Drinking water – PAA is a disinfectant used to kill harmful bacteria from drinking water streams. It produces fewer harmful DBPs than its chlorine counterpart.
  • Wastewater – PAA is used in a similar way to chlorine to help with debulking sludge in wastewater, as well as an effective disinfectant and odour control agent.
  • Laundry – PAA is used in some laundry detergents as a bleaching agent. As it is a more effective bleaching agent than hydrogen peroxide, the peroxide is converted to PAA using a catalyst to enhance the cleaning power of the detergent during the wash.

How to test for Peracetic Acid (PAA)

Test methods for PAA include test strips, titration, photometers and offsite laboratory testing. Kemio is the next generation test from Palintest, using amperometry to deliver rapid, repeatable and reliable results. Suitable for all users and all sample types; Kemio helps improve traceability and safety. To find out more visit our Kemio product page.

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