Synergism between hydrogen peroxide and seventeen acids against five agri-food-borne fungi and one yeast strain


  • Research paper on improvement of fungicidal efficacy of hydrogen peroxide in terms of synergy when associated with various acids.


Hélène Martin, Anses, Fougères Laboratory, La Haute Marche, Javené, BP 90203, 35302 Fougères Cedex, France. E-mail:



The objective of this study was to evaluate fungicidal efficacy of hydrogen peroxide administered in combination with 17 mineral and organic acids authorized for use in the food industry.

Methods and Results

The assays were performed on a 96-well microplate using a microdilution technique based on the checkerboard titration method. The six selected strains (one yeast and five fungi) were reference strains and strains representative of contaminating fungi found in the food industry. Each synergistic hydrogen peroxide/acid combination found after fifteen minutes contact time at 20°C in distilled water was then tested in conditions simulating four different use conditions. Twelve combinations were synergistic in distilled water, eleven of these remained synergistic with one or more of the four mineral and organic interfering substances selected. Hydrogen peroxide/formic acid combination remained effective against four strains and was never antagonistic against the other two fungi. Combinations with propionic acid and acetic acid stayed synergistic against two strains. Those with oxalic acid and lactic acid kept their synergism only against Candida albicans. No synergism was detected against Penicillium cyclopium.


Synergistic combinations of disinfectants were revealed, among them the promising hydrogen peroxide/formic acid combination.

Significance and Impact of the Study

A rapid screening method developed in our laboratory for bacteria was adapted to fungi and used to reveal the synergistic potential of disinfectants and/or sanitizers combinations.