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Phenol Coefficient

To use disinfectants effectively, it is necessary to know the strength of their power to kill microbes by using phenol as a comparison. Phenol is a disinfectant that is effective in killing germs. Phenol coefficient is the ratio of the measure of the potency of an antimicrobial agent compared to phenol as a reference.

Phenol is used as a standard because phenol is often used to destroy microorganisms. The phenol coefficient value less than 1 indicates that the antimicrobial compound is less effective than phenol. Conversely, if the phenol coefficient is more than 1, the antimicrobial material is more potent than phenol. The phenol coefficient is determined by dividing the highest dilution of phenol, which destroys microorganisms within ten minutes but does not destroy within five minutes. The highest dilution of the antimicrobial agent that kills microorganisms in ten minutes but not in five minutes.

How SIG can help

SIG Laboratory can perform phenol coefficient analysis in disinfectant.

Microorganisms can be tested:

  • Bacillus cereus
  • Bacillus sp.
  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Enterobacter aerogenes
  • Enterococcus faecalis
  • Escherichia coli
  • Listeria monocitogenes
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa
  • Salmonella sp
  • Salmonella Typhimurium
  • Shigella sp
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Streptococcus sp.


Method of Analysis

The method used to determine the effectiveness of the disinfectant is the phenol coefficient analysis method.

The reference for the phenol coefficient test is AOAC 955.11. The principle of this method is finding the highest dilution in the phenol solution and the disinfectant solution so that both can kill microbes within 10 minutes, but not in 5 minutes. The highest dilution results obtained from the disinfectant are then compared with phenol to get the phenol coefficient value.

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