Microorganisms are ubiquitous. They can contaminate, infect or decay inorganic and organic matter. Hence, it becomes necessary to kill or remove them from materials or from areas around us. This is the objective of sterilization.
The process of sterilization is used in Microbiology
· for preventing contamination by extraneous organisms
· in surgery for maintaining asepsis
· in food and drug manufacture for ensuring safety from contaminating organisms
The choice of methods of sterilization depend on the purpose for which it is carried out: the material to be sterilized and the nature of the microorganisms that are to be removed or destroyed.
Sterilization is defined as the process of complete removal or destruction of all forms of microbial life, including vegetative cells and their spores.