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Lactic acid – the green alternative for bacterial disinfection


*Corresponding author
1. Jungbunzlauer Ladenburg GmbH, Dr. Albert Reimann-Strasse 18, 68526 Ladenburg, Germany
2. Jungbunzlauer International AG, St. Alban-Vorstadt 90, 4002 Basel, Switzerland


More than ever before, the formulation of antimicrobial products is subject to comprehensive requirements and constraints. In Europe, the Biocidal Products Regulation (BPR) sets rigorous standards regarding active substance approval, product authorisation and efficacy testing. Further, there is an increasing demand by users of biocidal actives and finished products for safety and sustainability. In view of this background we investigated the anti-bacterial properties of L(+)-lactic acid, an ingredient produced by natural fermentation, which is safe to handle and readily biodegradable. This report demonstrates the excellent bactericidal performance of lactic acid, as assessed by established EN protocols. High bacterial reduction levels even under demanding test conditions underline the potential of lactic acid as an efficient alternative to conventional biocides.


Hygiene and disinfection are an indispensable part of our daily life. Biocides contribute towards making our world safer, cleaner and more liveable. However, established biocides such as polychlorinated phenoxy phenols or isothiazolinones also pose risks to human health or to the environment. In addition, many conventional actives are synthetic chemicals, while there is a growing demand for bio-based solutions. Green alternatives, e.g. lactic acid produced by a natural fermentation process, may overcome these drawbacks by combining natural origin, effectivity, safe handling and environmental friendliness.

Herein, we present test results on the anti-bacterial efficacy of aqueous lactic acid/surfactant mixtures.  Their biocidal performance was evaluated against four different germs according to standard protocols. Jungbunzlauer’s L(+)-lactic acid is obtained from fermentation based on natural and renewable resources. It is approved by ECOCERT as raw material from natural origin for the use in detergents and personal care.



Regulation (EU) No 528/2012, the ...

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