Estimation of the survival of Clostridium botulinum spores during heat treatments
A recently published study of the inactivation of Clostridium botulinum spores at various temperatures in the range of 101 to 121 degrees C and neutral pH revealed that their semilogarithmic survival curves all had considerable upward concavity. This finding indicated that heat inactivation of the spores under these conditions did not follow a first-order kinetics and that meaningful D values could not be calculated. The individual survival curves could be described by the cumulative form of the Weibull distribution, i.e., by log S = -b(T)t(n(T)), where S is the survival ratio and b(T) and n(T) are temperature-dependent coefficients. The fact that at all temperatures in the above range n(T) was smaller than 1 suggested that as time increases sensitive members of the population parish and survivors with increasing resistance remain. If damage accumulation is not a main factor, and the inactivation is path independent, then survival curves under monotonously increasing temperature can be constructed using a relatively simple model, which can be used to calculate the spores' survival in a limiting case. This is demonstrated with computer-simulated heating curves and the experimental constants of the C. botulinum spores, setting the number of decades reduction to 8, 10, and 12 (the current criterion for commercial sterility).
Micha Peleg and M.B. Cole. "Estimation of the survival of Clostridium botulinum spores during heat treatments" Journal of Food Protection 63 (2000): 190-195.
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