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Sporostatic, Sporicidal, and Heat-Sensitizing Action of Maleic Acid against Spores of Proteolytic Clostridium botulinum

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The anti botulinal potential of maleic acid was investigated in an uncured turkey product and model systems. There was a dose-related delay in neurotoxin detection, with no toxin developing after 40 days at 28°C with 500 or 1,500 Clostridium botulinum spores per g and 2% maleic acid. Anaerobic and aerobic microflora were suppressed by maleic acid, and pH remained constant during the incubation period. Sporicidal and sporostatic concentrations were 19.5 and 2.4 mM, respectively, in broth. The 8-day sporostatic levels were >5 and 2 mM for canned chicken and beef broths, respectively. Dipicolinic acid release was reduced by 50% with 0.25 mM maleic acid. Maleic acid also lowered spore thermal resistance at 80°C. These data indicate that maleic acid inactivates C. botulinum spores, delays spore outgrowth, and reduces thermal resistance.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Eastern Regional Research Center, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, 600 East Mermaid Lane. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19118 USA

Publication date: February 1, 1996

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