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Inactivating C. botulinum Spores by High Pressure Processing

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ClostridiumCan High Pressure Processing in Combination With Heat Serve as a Safe Alternative to Inactivate Clostridium Botulinum Spores?
Session 007
Sunday, July 17, 8:30–10:00 a.m.
Room S502

High pressure processing (HPP) can inactivate microorganisms in extended shelf-life (ESL) refrigerated foods without adversely affecting quality. Research shows that vegetative pathogens can be inactivated in foods using combined temperature and pressure. The organism of concern in these foods is Clostridium botulinum due to its ability to form spores and its ability to grow, germinate and produce toxin at refrigerated temperatures. ESL products are generally fully cooked to inactivate vegetative pathogens, however, nonproteolytic C. botulinum spores may survive. Eliminating vegetative cells while leaving viable spores results in a risk of outgrowth and toxin formation by C. botulinum. Therefore, many ESL products are exposed to a thermal treatment equivalent to 90°C for 10 min, the accepted treatment to provide a 6-log reduction of nonproteoltyic spores of C. botulinum. The establishment of HPP treatments combining temperature and pressure yielding a 6D reduction of nonproteolytic C. botulinum spores in ESL products may provide an equivalent level of safety.

This symposium will focus on the current understanding of combined high pressure and temperature processing technology and its applicability for nonproteolytic Clostridium botulinum spore inactivation in ESL foods. Speakers will discuss spore physiology, the influence of pressure and temperature on spore inactivation kinetics, and the role of dipicolinic acid in spores during high pressure processing, and process validation requirements.

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