Some modern fridges have "antibacterial coating" in their list of features. It is claimed this reduces the levels of bacteria growth.

Some people go on the further claim this in turn reduces odour and keeps food fresher.

Examples:

  • The Gas Company.IE

    Antibacterial Protection is built into our fridge liners giving protection for the life of the product. Working between normal cleanings it inhibits the growth of potentially harmful bacteria and reduces odours.

  • Appliances Online

    If you find your fresh food goes off quickly or you’re throwing away food on a regular basis, Appliances Online recommends investing in a fridge with antibacterial protection to help ensure food stays fresher for longer. The UK’s largest online white goods retailer stocks a large variety of products with an antibacterial coating which also helps to eliminate odours and prevent mould.

Meanwhile the German Federal institute for Risk Assessment released an article dismissing the usefulness:

"The anti-bacterial finish offered in a growing number of products doesn’t change [the need to clean fridges regularly]", says Professor Dr. Dr. Andreas Hensel, President of the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR). He refutes the claim by manufacturers that this finish reduces the bacterial load. BfR has assessed the hygiene impact and the benefits of linings of this kind for consumers. The result: a surface finish containing silver compounds does not offer any additional protection from germs. It does not do away with the need to clean the appliance or to comply with general hygiene rules when handling food.

Putting aside whether actibacterial coatings:

  • reduce odours or keeps food fresher
  • are safe or encourage poor hygiene behaviours
  • reduce mould (which is not bacterial)

Do they do the basic job of reducing the bacterial load on the treated surfaces?

  • I edited this to include some actual claims, and then focussed it down, because the claims were too broad and rather extravagant. I wanted to include some manufacturers claims, and found it difficult to find any. I wonder if manufacturers have all moved on the past 15 years, and are no longer making any such claims. (I found some talking about preventing mould on door seals, but that's it.) – Oddthinking Dec 4 at 22:41
  • The type of coating/finish can differ substantially - its supposed workings can be physical or chemical. But for fridges specifically it's likely one type. – Jan Doggen Dec 5 at 13:30

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