Effects of acetic acid on the viability of Ascaris lumbricoides eggs. Is vinegar reliable enough to clean the vegetables?

Yunus E. Beyhan, Hasan Yilmaz, Murat Hokelek


Objectives: To investigate the effects of acetic acid on durable Ascaris lumbricoides (A. lumbricoides)  eggs to determine the effective concentration of vinegar and the implementation period to render the consumption of raw vegetables more reliable. 


Methods: This experimental study was performed in May 2015 in the Parasitology Laboratory, Faculty of Medicine, Yuzuncu Yil University, Van, Turkey. The A. lumbricoides eggs were divided into 2 groups. Eggs in the study group were treated with 1, 3, 5, and 10% acetic acid concentrations, and eggs in the control group were treated with Eosin. The eggs’ viability was observed at the following points in time during the experiment: 0, 10, 15, 20, 30, 45, and 60 minutes. 


Results: The 1% acetic acid was determined insufficient on the viability of Ascaris eggs. At the 30th minute, 3% acetic acid demonstrated 95% effectiveness, and at 5% concentration, all eggs lost their viability. Treatment of acetic acid at the ratio of 4.8% in 30 minutes, or a ratio of 4.3% in 60 minutes is required for full success of tretment. 


Conclusion: Since Ascaris eggs have 3 layers and are very resistant, the acetic acid concentration, which can be effective on these eggs are thought to be effective also on many other parasitic agents. In order to attain an active protection, after washing the vegetables, direct treatment with a vinegar containing 5% acetic acid for 30 minutes is essential.


Saudi Med J 2016; Vol. 37 (3): 288-292
doi: 10.15537/smj.2016.3.13061 

How to cite this article
Beyhan YE, Yilmaz H, Hokelek M. Effects of acetic acid on the viability of Ascaris lumbricoides eggs. Is vinegar reliable enough to clean the vegetables? Saudi Med J 2016; 37: 288-292.


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