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A Data Analysis of the Irradiation Parameter D 10 for Bacteria and Spores under Various Conditions

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This paper provides approximate estimates for the irradiation parameter D 10 to globally predict the effectiveness of any irradiation process. D 10 is often reported to depend on many specific factors, implying that D 10 cannot be estimated without exact knowledge of all factors involved. For specific questions these data can of course be useful but only if the conditions reported exactly match the specific question. Alternatively, this study determined the most relevant factors influencing D 10, by quantitatively analyzing data from many references. The best first step appeared to be a classification of the data into vegetative bacteria and spores. As expected, spores were found to have significantly higher D 10 values (average 2.48 kGy) than vegetative bacteria (average 0.762 kGy). Further analyses of the vegetative bacteria confirmed the expected extreme irradiation resistance of nonpathogenic Deinococcus radiodurans (average 10.4 kGy). Furthermore the analysis identified Enterococcus faecium, Alcaligenes spp., and several members of the Moraxella–Acinetobacter group as having very high resistance at very low temperatures (average 3.65 kGy). After exclusion of high- and low-resistance spores and some specific conditions showing relevant high or low D 10 values, the average for spores was estimated to be 2.11 kGy. For vegetative bacteria this average was estimated to be 0.420 kGy. These approximate estimates are not definite, as they depend on the data used in the analyses. It is expected that inclusion of more data will not change the estimates to a great extent. The approximate estimates are therefore useful tools in designing and evaluating irradiation processes.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Wageningen Agricultural University, Department of Food Technology and Nutritional Sciences, P. O. Box 8129, 6700 EV Wageningen, The Netherlands

Publication date: September 1, 1999

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