Physical Methods of Microbial Control

The technique of eliminating undesirable bacteria is known as microbial control. The control of microbial growth is required in various realistic settings, and the term “control of microbial growth” in use here refers to the inhibition or prevention of microorganism development. All through human history, microbial control has advanced. Most countries now have clean water, sterile food, and medical instruments. Controlling the development and quantity of microorganisms is vital to avoid human illness (Matthews et al., 2017). People utilize various strategies to kill bacteria, and one of the methods used is the physical method. The physical methods include combustion, heat, freezing, pressure, and sonication.



Among the most efficient ways to limit microbial development is to burn objects to ashes. Although extremely successful, incineration is not a procedure that can be used with almost everything. Incineration is often used to deal with polluted material. Even so, if someone incinerates’ critical items, they will be free of microbes; however, they will also be ashes, and it’s impossible to utilize them( Matthews et al., 2017). Combustion is mostly used to eliminate biohazardous waste, like medical disposal and animal corpses. Combustion can also be employed when disposing of potentially contaminated disposable products like clothes or bandages.

Dry Heat

Dry heat is the method of sterilizing items by exposing dry, hot air to them. The advantages of this procedure include the fact that it is extremely successful at eliminating bacteria and eradicating viruses or vegetative organisms that may survive other control mechanisms. Dry heat can also sterilize materials that must not be subjected to damp-heat. Dry heat functions by burning chemicals within the microorganism. Proteins and most biological components lose electrons in oxidation. Denaturation is the procedure through which their three-dimensional form changes. When these molecules lose their form, they cannot perform their role. They cease functioning, and the microorganism dies as a result. On the other hand, dry air carries heat far more slowly than moisture. So One disadvantage of this approach is that exceptionally hot temperatures must be maintained for an extended period.

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Freezing and Refrigeration

Just as hot temperatures are useful for suppressing microbial reproduction, subjecting microorganisms to cold temperatures is an easy and successful technique of microbial containment. Refrigerators utilized in homes or laboratories keep temperatures within 0 and 7 ° C (Sun et al., 2018).  This temperature level suppresses microbial respiration, considerably delaying the development of germs and assisting in preserving chilled items like meals or medical supplies. Freezing can maintain some kinds of laboratory cultures for subsequent use. Freezing temperatures below 2°C can halt microbial development and potentially kill sensitive species (Matthews et al., 2017). Furthermore, interrupted bacterial development in frozen foods might resume; therefore, frozen goods must be handled as fresh foods.


Bacteria can be destroyed when exposed to high pressure. The pressure method treatment is employed in the foods to eliminate bacteria, molds, parasites, and yeasts while retaining food freshness and prolonging shelf life. Pressures ranging from 100 to 800 MPa can destroy vegetative cells due to protein dissociation; however, endospores could remain (Matthews et al., 2017). Hyperbaric oxygen treatment is occasionally utilized in healthcare situations to treat infections. A patient in this type of treatment breaths uncontaminated oxygen at a better than usual pressure, often between 1 and 3 atmospheres. This is accomplished by either putting the patient in a hyperbaric environment or delivering compressed oxygen via a breathing pipe. Hyperbaric oxygen treatment improves oxygen levels in organs.


Sonication is the application of increased ultrasonic waves to destroy cell architecture. Ultrasonic waves generate rapid variations in pressure inside the intracellular fluid, resulting in a concussion, the production of bubbles within the cell that can destroy cellular components and finally lead the cell to disintegrate (Sun et al., 2018). Sonication is important in the research for successfully lysing cells to liberate their components for further investigation; it is also employed beyond the laboratories to disinfect surgical equipment, glasses, and a range of other things like pennies, instruments, and musical equipment.


Inanimate items, like door knobs, gadgets, or clothing, can harbor germs and encourage disease spread. Two factors have a considerable effect on the amount of hygiene required for a specific fomite and, consequently, the methods utilized to attain this measure. One consideration is the intended usage of the object. For instance, hazardous activities that need insertion into the human body require a significantly better standard of hygiene than non-invasive applications. The second consideration is the amount of resistance to antimicrobial therapy by possible infections.


Matthews, K. R., Kniel, K. E., & Montville, T. J. (2017). Food microbiology: An introduction. John Wiley & Sons.

Sun, R., Sun, P., Zhang, J., Esquivel-Elizondo, S., & Wu, Y. (2018). Microorganisms-based methods for harmful algal blooms control: A review. Bioresource Technology, 248, 12–20.