Inactivation of non-proteolytic clostridium botulinum type e in low-acid foods and phosphate buffer by heat and pressure

Maximilian B. Maier, Tobias Schweiger, Christian A. Lenz, Rudi F. Vogel

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The effect of high pressure thermal (HPT) treatments on the inactivation of spores of nonproteolytic type E Clostridium botulinum TMW 2.990 was investigated at high pressures (300 to 600 MPa) and elevated temperatures (80 to 100 C) in four low-acid foods (steamed sole, green peas with ham, vegetable soup, braised veal) and imidazole phosphate buffer (IPB). In addition, corresponding conventional thermal treatments at ambient pressure were performed to expose possible synergisms of pressure and temperature on spore inactivation. In general, spore count reduction was more efficient by combining pressure and temperatures < 100 C and the overall process duration could be shortened due to accelerated heating rates (adiabatic effect). Processing at 90 C and 600 MPa resulted in inactivation below the detection limit after 5 min in all foods except steamed sole. Traditional thermal processing of spores at 90 C for 10 min, on the other hand, did not result in an estimated 6-log reduction. Additional HPT treatments in steamed sole and IPB did not reveal pronounced food matrix dependent protective effects. Here, varying pressure levels did not appear to be the driving force for spore count reduction in steamed sole at any temperature. By applying a Weibull distribution on destruction kinetics of isobaric/isothermal holding times, 6D-values were calculated. Compression and decompression phase (1 s pressure holding time) had a considerable impact on spore count reduction (max. -2.9 log units) in both, foods and buffer. Hence, compression and decompression phases should directly be included into the total lethal effect of HPT treatments to avoid prolonged holding times and overprocessing.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0200102
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2018


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