Modeling the Germination Kinetics of Clostridium botulinum 56A Spores as Affected by Temperature, pH, and Sodium Chloride

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The germination kinetics of proteolytic Clostridium botulinum 56A spores were modeled as a function of temperature (15, 22, 30°C), pH (5.5, 6.0, 6.5), and sodium chloride (0.5, 2.0, 4.0%). Germination in brain heart infusion (BHI) broth was followed with phase-contrast microscopy. Data collected were used to develop the mathematical models. The germination kinetics expressed as cumulated fraction of germinated spores over time at each environmental condition were best described by an exponential distribution. Quadratic polynomial models were developed by regression analysis to describe the exponential parameter (time to 63% germination) (r 2 = 0.982) and the germination extent (r 2 = 0.867) as a function of temperature, pH, and sodium chloride. Validation experiments in BHI broth (pH: 5.75, 6.25; NaCl: 1.0, 3.0%; temperature: 18, 26°C) confirmed that the model's predictions were within an acceptable range compared to the experimental results and were fail-safe in most cases.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Science, Rutgers—The State University of New Jersey, New Brunswick, New Jersey 08901-8520, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2000

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