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Survival of Bacillus anthracis Spores in Fruit Juices and Wine

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Foods have been identified as a potential target for bioterrorism due to their essential nature and global distribution. Foods produced in bulk have the potential to have large batches of product intentionally contaminated, which could affect hundreds or thousands of individuals. Bacillus anthracis spores are one potential bioterrorism agent that may survive pasteurization and remain viable throughout the shelf life of fruit juices and cause disease if consumed. This project examined B. anthracis spore survival in orange, apple, and grape juices, as well as wine. Samples of beverages were inoculated with spores of two nonpathogenic B. anthracis strains at approximately 106 CFU/ml, and the spore count was determined periodically during storage for 30 days at 4°C. After this time, the counts of survival spores never declined more than 1 log CFU/ml in any of the beverage types. These results indicate that spores can survive, with little to no loss in viability, for at least a month in fruit juices and wine.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Food Science and Nutrition, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, Minnesota 55108, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2010

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    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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