Advantages and Disadvantages of Sterilization Methods

Sterilization Method Advantages Disadvantages
Dry Heat Sterilization Non-toxic and safe for the environment. Powders, soft parafin, glycerine can be sterilized by this method. Needs high heats for long periods. The penetration of the heat takes a long time in large devices. Not proper for plastic and cloths
EtO Sterilization It is preferable for materials that are sensitive to heat. No limit for lumen. Complete penetration is dependent on the use of the permeable gas. It is important to define the SAL with the use of biological indicators.
  • Excessively Long cycle;
  • Safety concerns – carcinogenic to humans;
  • Toxicity issues – toxic residues on surgical instruments and tubing;
  • Not recommended for flexible scope;
  • EtO is flammable;
  • Requires special room conditions, safety equipment and separate ventilation system;
  • Relatively high annual costs for maintenance, servicing and consumables
Formaldehyde Sterilization It is preferable for materials that are sensitive to high heats. There is no need for ventilation of materials after sterilization. It is toxic and carcinogenic so it cannot be used for the sterilization of liquids
Gas Plasma (H2O2) Sterilization Hydrogen peroxide is safe for the environment and it is also less hazardous to work with. Sterilization can be achieved in a period between 28 min to 74 min. There is no need for ventilation. It is proper for the sterilization of materials that are sensitive to temperature It is not a proper method for the sterilization of liquids. Measuring the hydrogen peroxide concentration within the isolator during sterilization cycles in real time may also be a problem.
Peracetic Acid Sterilization No harm to the personnel and the environment. Less damaging process to delicate materials than steam sterilization and it is compatible with a wide variety of materials, plastics, rubber, and heat-sensitive items. It is a single-use process; there is no possibility of contamination. Only one or a small number of instruments can be processed in a cycle. Using of the materials after sterilization process is not possible
Hot Water Treatment An eco-friendly technology that is easier to use than steam sterilization and can be widely applied to various crops and seeds. Ideal mechanism for disinfecting fruits and vegetables The price of the equipment is on the higher side and is less effective in killing pathogens in deeper soil.
Ultra Heat Treatment The reduction in process time due to higher temperature (UHTST) and the minimal come-up and cool-down time leads to a higher quality product.
Significant increase in the shelf life of the product
Complexity of equipment and plant are needed to maintain sterile atmosphere between processing and packaging (packaging materials, pipework, tanks, pumps); higher skilled operators; sterility must be maintained through aseptic packaging.
Heat stable lipases or proteases can lead to flavour deterioration, age gelation of the milk over time
Gamma Radiation Sterilization It is an advanced technological method. It is a cold method, increase in temperature is slight. It has a high SAL. Control of the method is made only by the applied dose. Dose rate is lower than electron beams. It has low dose flexibility
E-beam Sterilization Very safe method. It is an advanced technology method and has a much higher dose than gamma or x-rays. It also has no residue after sterilization. It is a cold method, increase in temperature is slight. Control of the method is easy that can be made only by the parameter of applied dose. None

Sterilization Methods Gallery