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Appl Microbiol. 1967 Mar;15(2):249-56.

Thermal inactivation of type E botulinum toxin.


The theoretical required cooking times for inactivation of type E Clostridium botulinum toxin (5,000 ld(50) mouse units per 0.5 ml) in haddock fillets of various sizes were calculated by graphical integration of the toxin inactivation rate and heat penetration data. The results indicated that normal cooking procedures should suffice to inactivate this amount of toxin. This conclusion was substantiated by the following additional experimental observations which revealed that the original experiments had been conducted under conservative conditions. First, maximal heat stability of the toxin was found to occur at about pH 5.5, with decreasing resistance upon increasing pH. The theoretical cooking times were based on destruction of the toxin at pH 6.7. The pH of radio-pasteurized inoculated haddock, when toxin production had occurred, was on the alkaline side, at which condition the toxin is heat-labile. Second, when spoilage was discernible in radio-pasteurized inoculated haddock, the toxin titer was low, about 50 ld(50) mouse units per 0.5 ml. Third, the toxin was adequately inactivated in toxic fillets after deep-fat frying for 3 min at 375 F (190.6 C) or after pan frying for 5 min per side at 400 F (204.4 C). Fourth, in this study, residual toxin activity was assayed by intraperitoneal injection of mice. It was shown that the oral toxic dose was 50 to 100 times greater than the intraperitoneal toxic dose.

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