SO2 and Microorganisms
Name: Refik A.
I am working for a company producing starch. Before
drying process we wash the starch milk with the WASHING WATER. For this
the microorganism. Now please answer :
How does SO2 effect on the microorganisms (bacteria, yeast and mould)?
What is the mechanism of killing or preventing microorganism?
Enzymes are the alpha and omega to biological processes. They take care of
all important chemical reactions in a cell. Enzymes are proteins, and like
all proteins they consist of chains of amino acids. These chains have to
be faulted in a specific way to give the enzyme it's activity. In many
enzymes, the structure of the enzyme is ensured by cross-bonding of the
amino-acid chains. These cross-bonds consist of double Sulphur bonds.
This introduction was needed to explain the mechanism of sulphur dioxide,
SO2. SO2 is reactive to some enzymes and can degrade the sulphur bonds
needed for structural stability. Once these bonds are broken the enzyme is
inactive. That happens to be the case with some important enzymes, for
instance DNA polymerase of bacteria. This enzyme forms the DNA molecules
that are needed for each cell division. If DNA polymerase can not do its
work (because SO2 has distroyed it), the cell cannot divide, that is the
micro-organisms cannot multiply.
And fortunately for us, our DNA polymerase is not sensitive to SO2. This
is a simplified explanation of a complicated matter. It is easier to
determine THAT a compound can kill microorganisms than to find out HOW.
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Update: June 2012