Mode of action of zinc ions

  • Different modes of action for zinc have been proposed: Cysteine and methionine are the sulphur-containing amino acids that serve as substrates for the bacteria producing VSC, mainly hydrogen sulphide and methyl mercaptan (Young et al. 2001).
  • It is suggested that zinc, with its affinity for sulphur, oxidises thiol groups (-SH) and, thereby, inhibits the generation of VSC precursors (Wåler 1997a).
  • Even more important, zinc reacts with the thiol groups of the VSC and, therefore, neutralises their effect by producing non-volatile substances.
  • For the cleavage of the VSC hydrogen sulphide from the amino acid cysteine an enzyme-mediated reaction is needed.