Letheen broth when prepared with polysorbate 80 is used for the testing of quaternary ammonium compounds for antimicrobial activity. Letheen broth is recommended by the Official Methods of Analysis of the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC). (1)
The enzymatic digest of animal tissue and beef extract act as carbon, nitrogen and vitamin sources in this medium. Sodium chloride maintains the osmotic balance of the medium. Lecithin inactivates quaternary ammonium compounds. Polysorbate 80 must be added to the medium prior to sterilisation. Polysorbate 80 neutralises phenols, formalin, hexachlorophene, and in combination with the lecithin, ethanol.
(1) Association of Official Analytical Chemists. 1995. Official methods of analysis, 16th ed. Association of Official Analytical Chemists, Washington, D.C