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Feb 17, 2004, 8:38 AM

Post #1 of 16 (14010 views)


Question ;Microdyne

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As a cautious Canadian soon to arrive in Mexico-should I soak the following items in Microdyne-fresh cilantro-garlic (used raw in Guacamole)- and pineapple.

jennifer rose

Feb 17, 2004, 8:46 AM

Post #2 of 16 (13995 views)


Re: [Joang] Question ;Microdyne

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It would be just plain silly to soak garlic and pineapple in Microdyne. Both will be peeled before consumption. At least one would hope so.

Kimpatsu Hekigan

Feb 17, 2004, 8:50 PM

Post #3 of 16 (13971 views)


Re: [Joang] Microdyne (colloidal silver) vs. Grapefruit seed extract

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I've never soaked garlic or pineapple in a biocide before eating. Cilantro, lettuce, etc? Always.

Also, Microdyne is a suspension containing 3.2% colloidal silver as the antimicrobial ingredient. Some people are wary of long-germ ingestion of metallic silver, as it is normally excreted through the kidneys but can accumulate in skin tissue.

One alternative is grapefruit seed extract (GSE), available at any health food store in the US and Canada. Claimed to be safer than silver and about 10 times more effective.

I've been using GSE in Mexico for the last five years or so, and have never had a stomach problem I could trace to veggies puriefied using it.

See this website:

A Google search on "silver grapefruit seed extract" will bring up many more hits.


-- K.H.


Feb 23, 2004, 9:22 AM

Post #4 of 16 (13940 views)


Re: [Joang] Question ;Microdyne

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I never use any microdyn for anything. I use purified water to wash fruits and veggies (the ones I don't peel). Where do you think the fruits and veggies come from in the US and Canada during the freezing winters? MEXICO! What do you do at home with them?


Feb 23, 2004, 11:25 AM

Post #5 of 16 (13933 views)


Re: [Esteban] Question ;Microdyne

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OMG thank you, I have tried to point this out to folks down here many times, mostly without success. Bacteria are not wafting about in the soil and air of Mexico, just looking for a likely lettuce or peach to settle on. Water, yes, there could be bacteria in the water...hence washing raw vegetables with purified water is a good idea.

As a courtesy to the squeamish, when I have guests (those who live here and those from away), I do wash raw salad vegetables with purified water and Microdyn. God forbid anybody should get sick at my house. Anything I cook~nope, I wash it with water from the faucet and that's that.

(This post was edited by esperanza on Feb 23, 2004, 2:52 PM)


Feb 23, 2004, 12:04 PM

Post #6 of 16 (13926 views)


Re: [esperanza] Question ;Microdyne

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I would also like to point out that crops in the US are not irrigated with purified water either. Personally, I think that the biggest source of vegetable contamination is handling. It's the same problem in the US. I find that staying healthy in Mexico (or the world in general), it's necessary to wash your hands thoroughly before handling food, don't consume massive amounts of alcohol, wash veggies and fruit in purified water, eat yogurt and drink plenty of water.


Feb 23, 2004, 1:09 PM

Post #7 of 16 (13921 views)


Re: [Joang] Question ;Microdyne

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This question has always seemed to me to be very much a matter of habit and personal comfort -- and also of becoming acclimated to the intestinal flora and fauna of the area. When I first came to Mexico as a university student (in 1969) I saw many U.S. and Canadian visitors who used bottled water for everything. They wouldn't even cook with tap water and they carried iodine tablets to put in the water if they were ever caught in a situation where bottled water was not immediately available. Most of them also refused to eat food prepared at street corners or in open-air restaurants.

Well, to me that really didn't seem much like savoring the local culture -- and it certainly wasn't much fun always being fearful of contamination. So, I drank from the tap, washed my vegetables in tapwater and ate anything and everything wherever I went. I did have a couple of minor stomach upsets the first month but after that I lived in Mexico continuously for nearly three years without any problem whatever. I had a lot of fun and savored all sorts of local delicacies throughout the Mexican Republic.

Since then I've returned to Mexico perhaps 50 or 60 times and I now live here full time. With the most minimal precautions (essentially those that I would take in the U.S.) I've not had any stomach problems or intestinal infections in the ensuing 35 years. In fairness, I should say that even my Mexican inlaws are horrified that I drink tapwater. However, I just can't adjust to the taste (or lack of taste) of bottled water and I'll probably continue my "heretical ways" as long as they do me no harm.

I do realize that you characterized yourself as a "cautious Canadian" and I don't mean to suggest that you do anything that might make you uncomfortable. For most folks, if they're just a bit adventurous, I'd guess that the "middle way" works best. The other folks on this forum have posted some good advice, which should guide you in establishing your own rules.

Zapopan, Jalisco, México

Carol Schmidt

Feb 28, 2004, 9:57 PM

Post #8 of 16 (13891 views)


Re: [pbgollaz] Question ;Microdyne

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Even with using Microdyne on any produce I didn't cook or peel and only drinking bottled water and avoiding street food stands, I still caught amoebas.

Carol Schmidt


Feb 29, 2004, 3:45 PM

Post #9 of 16 (13878 views)


Re: [Carol Schmidt] Question ;Microdyne

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Interesting! I am as sloppy in Mexico as I ever was in the US about washing hands, veggies, etc. before eating. Basically I don't. Street foods? Bring them on. Neither I nor my family has had stomach problems here. But just let us go up to Texas and eat fast foods--especially from Long JOhn Silver's, which we all adore--and our stomachs rebel within an hour. Probably the grease and salt, which we simply do not use in Mexico.


Mar 3, 2004, 8:18 PM

Post #10 of 16 (13853 views)


Re: [jennifer rose] Question ;Microdyne

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Isn't there a safer product than Microdyn avail in Mexico? We had a different product and just ran out, unfortunately my wife through the bottle out.

I don't think they make the restaurant that soaks veggies in anything for 30 minutes. My veggie lady at the local mercado wacks up chopped veggies right onto the scale for local restaurants (economica I expect). By the time they get wacked into 50 parts they are a heck of a lot harder to clean I would image.

I wash fruit under the tap with dishwashing detergent, rinse it, and dry it. The cilantro type of stuff gets a soaking at our house. But Microdyn gives me the willys.


Mar 5, 2004, 7:46 AM

Post #11 of 16 (13831 views)


Re: [Carol Schmidt] Question ;Microdyne

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Some bottled water is dirty according to Francisca. Her boss is a snappy female lawyer (up from poverty success story) who will not drink it. She boils bottled water for 20 minutes.

If you think about it......bottled water is expensive and looks like water. Sure there are laws and stuff, but there is also a pretty handsome profit to be had. Would they do it? Apparently a steet-savey local lawyer thinks so.

If you ask around you find out that there is not a restaurant or vendor who doesn't use purified water; and all the rugs in Teotitlan are made from natural dye, and every tablecloth being sold is woven by the family en casa, and every trinket is hecho a mano, and everything yellow is ambre (and it is more valuable with a perfect scorpion imbedded in it). Orangel says a lot of Mexican handcraft is cheaper in Los Angeles than here because there is less shipping cost and the Mexican duty has not been added in (shipped from China). She is just recently back.

It begins to make sense: climb the mountain a before daybreak and make your offering to Tlaloc - you've got to trust somebody.


Mar 5, 2004, 9:42 AM

Post #12 of 16 (13825 views)


Re: [kimpatsu_hekigan] Microdyne (colloidal silver) vs. Grapefruit seed extract

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A neighbor has alerted me to a water disinfectant called DHL. It is only sold direct like Amway products. I haven't a clue what is in it. Does anybody know? Safe or not safe?

Also, we have a water brand here called H2O which at least labels as reverse osmosis method. A brand here called Donaji is rumored to be dirty. My label is Vital, with no reverse osmosis note. I plan to switch. Truth is I assume it was all reverse osmosis.

If it is too it.


Mar 7, 2004, 5:44 AM

Post #13 of 16 (13802 views)


re bottled water

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If you buy one of the brands of ater that are made by either Pepsi or Coke it will be good water. Soft drinks have to made with pure water or they go bad quickly. The bottling plants have the expertise to properly purify both the water and the bottle. Some of the ma and pa operations are scary.


Mar 7, 2004, 6:28 PM

Post #14 of 16 (13784 views)


Re: [TomG] Question ;Microdyne

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This probably has wider applicability and belongs in the "Living and Working" forum, but I'll leave it up to a moderator to move it.

TomG writes:
Isn't there a safer product than Microdyn avail in Mexico?

The real problem is that (a) there's multiple products which have some variation of the "microdyn" (microdyne, microdine) product name, (b) each of these products have very different active ingredients, and (c) few people have any idea what active ingredient might have any effect, they're simply grabbing for bottles with the "microdyn" (microdyne, microdine) name. Active ingredients-wise your choices include metallic or inorganic silver compounds, quaternary ammonium chloride compounds, and iodine or an iodophor. Each will have its own bacteriological as well as toxicological profile. Here's some quick thoughts, I'd suggest anybody who's interested should spend some time doing their own homework (note - research does not include any website where a product is being sold).

  • silver - high (percentage-range) concentrations of metallic silver, inorganic silver compounds such as silver nitrate, and organic silver compounds such as silver sulfadiazine are used medically as topical (direct contact treatment) antimicrobial treatments. At one time activated charcoal used to strip organic compounds from water were treated with silver compounds to inhibit bacterial and algal growth, but this application appears to died out, at least in the US. Similarly, a colloidal silver and copper compound ("Microdyn", in the US, EPA-registered by a Movidyn Corporation) was once sold to suppress bacterial and fungal build-up in recirculated industrial water such as used in the pulp and paper industry; Movidyn cancelled its registration for Microdyn in the mid-80's. I can find no legitimate references to the use of metallic, inorganic, or organic silver compounds as a sanitizer, disinfectant, or sterilizing agent.

  • quaternary ammonium chloride compounds - Mixtures of compounds such as alkyl dimethyl benzyl ammonium chloride, didecyl dimethyl ammonium chloride, dioctyl dimethyl ammonium chloride, and octyl decyl dimethyl ammonium chloride are very commonly used as surface sanitizer; if you look at your household cleaners that claim disinfecting properties, there's a high percentage chance that you'll find a "quat". Eurochem International has what's in the US an EPA-registered product under the Microdyne Extra tradename for use as an industrial and institutional sanitizer. Although the quats are commonly used as food-service sanitizing agents, in my limited poking around I can find no reference to their use disinfecting foodstuffs like produce (my initial reaction is yuck....).

  • iodine - Iodine solutions such as tincture of iodine (2% iodine, 2.4% sodium iodide in ethanol) and povidone-iodine are commonly used medically as topical antimicrobial treatments; in this application there's a considerably greater breadth of use than with silver compounds. Falling into the same chemical class as chlorine, iodine also has uses as a disinfectant, albeit a lesser one, possibly because of its lower reactivity (the halogens function as disinfectants through the simple means of oxidizing whatever they come into contact with), as well as an poorly-characterized concern about excess iodine-induced thyroid disorders. Although more commonly recognized in the US as "Betadine", povidone-iodine solutions (typically 10%, which would yield about 1% available iodine) are sold worldwide under the name "Microdine". Targeted to the food services industry Rochester-Midland Corporation also sells what's in the US an EPA-registered germicide/sanitizer under the "Microdyne" tradename which contains 3.5% available iodine and phosphoric acid.

    It should be noted that there's also a food and institutional deodorizing product sold by Misco International under the Microdyne name which contains "enzymatic odor eliminators".

  • Now my overall take on the subject is that the "microdyn" that people originally suggested for use on produce was an iodine compound. Iodine compounds have been one of the traditional compounds used for purifying water while camping or traveling, and by extension for sanitizing washable foods and utensils. In at least the early (1988) edition of Carl Franz's classic The People's Guide to Mexico I've got kicking around, Franz recommended purchasing Yodo para lavar veduras in drugstores, and using 1-2 drops per quart of water to sanitize vegetables. According to a poster a few months ago, in some later edition of the People's Guide the term "microdyn" started to be used for the same solution. Somewhere along the line, the substitution for a colloidal silver product was made in at least some locations, possibly because colloidal silver is one of those fad miracle "health" products, or simply because of product name confusion.

    Please note that none of the above should be taken to be me advocating or refuting the need for the disinfection of produce, which could be the subject of an entirely separate discussion, which I'm not particularly interested in taking on for the time being.

    Additional Notes:

    1. Quantities of iodine required for disinfection will vary depending on the actual product used. The 1-2 drops/quart of water does, however appear to be somewhat low, noting that 0.25-0.5 mL of a standard tincture of iodine is recommended for treating water for drinking, while 0.35-0.7 mL of a 10% povidone-iodine solution is normally used. If this sounds low, calculate how much of a colloidal silver compound would be needed to achieve the 5-10 ppm concentration recommended by Movidyn for bacteriostatic use in what's a markedly non-critical application.

    2. With regards to the recommendation for the use of Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE), there's at least two articles (a, b) published in peer-reviewed journals indicating that commercial GSEs tested contained all contained significant concentrations of synthetic anti-microbial agents including benzethonium chloride, methyl-p-hydroxybenzoate and 2,4,4'-trichloro-2'-hydroxydiphenylether (triclosan). A third publication (c) went further to identify that 5 of 6 tested commercial GSE products contained measurable anti-microbial agents, and neither the 6th compound, nor several in-house prepared GSEs exhibited any kind of anti-microbial activities. Try:

    a. Sakamoto, S.; Sato, K.; Maitani, T.; Yamada, T. Analysis of components in natural food additive 'grapefruit seed extract' by HPLC and LCIMS. Bull. Nat. Inst. Health Sci. 1996, 114,38-42.

    b.Takeoka, G.; Dao, L.; Wong, R.; Lundin, R.; Mahoney, N.; Identification of Benzethonium Chloride in Commercial Grapefruit Seed Extracts. J. Agric. Food Chem. 2001, 49, 3316-3320.

    c. Von WoedTke, T.; Schluter, B.; Pfiegel, P.: Lindequist, U.; Jiilich, W. -D. Aspects of the anti-microbial efficacy of grapefruit seed extract and its relation to preservative substances contained. Pharmazie 1999, 54.452-456.

    (This post was edited by ET on Mar 8, 2004, 9:38 AM)


    Mar 7, 2004, 6:39 PM

    Post #15 of 16 (13783 views)


    Re: [TomG] Drinking Water Purification, was Microdyne (colloidal silver) vs. Grapefruit seed extract

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    TomG writes:
    ....Also, we have a water brand here called H2O which at least labels as reverse osmosis method. A brand here called Donaji is rumored to be dirty. My label is Vital, with no reverse osmosis note. I plan to switch. Truth is I assume it was all reverse osmosis.

    There's a number of methods that can be used to purify drinking water in production quantities. In addition to reverse osmosis, there's various types of filtration, distillation, as well as treatment with a number of agents including chlorine, ozone, ultraviolet light, and carbon dioxide. Efficacy of the different purification methods will vary both by the process used and in some cases the condition and maintenance of the equipment employed. The latter is sort of an unpredictably wild-card, which needs to be verified by the producer via an inspection and testing program.

    With regards to the former, ability to control Cryptosporidium parvum might serve as good selection criteria for a preferred purification process. Cryptosporidium is a protozoal parasite transmitted by fecal contamination. In the past 20 or so years, Cryptosporidium has been found to contaminate surface water supplies used for drinking water in a number of locations worldwide. Although in immunocompetent persons Cryptosporidium infections, which are characterized by what else but diarrhea tend to be self-limiting and self-curing, in immunocompromised individuals, as well as the very young, pregnant women, and the very elderly Cryptosporidiosis is a significant health concern.

    Unlike many other waterborne pathogenic microorganisms, at least in its oocyst (encapsulated) form Cryptosporidium is extremely resistant to chlorine, surviving concentrations hundreds of times above the levels used to treat drinking water. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identifies
    - reverse osmosis,
    - distillation, and/or
    - filtration through a "absolute" 1 micron or smaller porosity filter
    as bottled water treatment processes which are effective against Cryptosporidium contamination. Bottled water which simply specifies the contents has been filtered (or micro-filtered, carbon-filtered, particle filtered, or multimedia-filtered) is not considered to be processed by a method effective against Cryptosporidium, nor is ozonated (ozone-treated), ultraviolet (UV) light treated, ion exchange-treated, deionized, chlorinated, or "purified" bottled water.

    Note that none of the above is applicable to home water treatment systems. Functionality of such systems is dependent on (a) the quality of input water (not just the quality of the water feeding the system, but also what's in the aljibe and tinaco), (b) the design of the system (including not only type of equipment but the appropriate sizing and layout), and (c) the maintenance of the system. I'm not going there, but I'd hazard a wild guess that over half the home systems are deliverying water that's not markedly different than what's coming out of the city's mains.

    (This post was edited by ET on Mar 7, 2004, 6:49 PM)


    Mar 8, 2004, 8:10 PM

    Post #16 of 16 (13752 views)


    Re: [ET] Drinking Water Purification, was Microdyne (colloidal silver) vs. Grapefruit seed extract

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    Thanks for the very solid information.

    I just turned down a vendor of water today whose product was label with 5 purifying methods - all on your list of not being effective against Cryptosporidium.

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