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J Food Prot. 2007 Dec;70(12):2860-3.

Evaluation of the effect of acetylsalicylic acid on Clostridium botulinum growth and toxin production.

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  • 1Center for Food Safety, University of Georgia, Griffin, Georgia 30223-1797, USA.


The Republic of Georgia (ROG) has the highest incidence of botulism among all countries in the world, with most cases attributed to home-preserved vegetables. Based on epidemiologic data, the occurrence of botulism in ROG is lower in areas where aspirin (active ingredient, acetylsalicylic acid [ASA]) is added to home-canned vegetables. The objective of this study was to evaluate, with a broth medium, the antibotulinal activity of ASA to determine the possible role of ASA in preventing botulinum toxin production in home-canned vegetables. Trypticase-peptone-glucose-yeast (TPGY) broth (pH 7.0) with 0, 0.3, and 0.6 mg of ASA per ml was inoculated with a 10-strain mixture of proteolytic Clostridium botulinum type A and B spores at ca. 10(3) spores per ml. The inoculated broths were incubated at 31 degrees C under anaerobic conditions, and C. botulinum growth and botulinum toxin production were determined for up to 36 h. Results showed ASA in broth delayed (time to initial detectable toxin produced and amount of toxin produced), but did not prevent, both growth and toxin production by C. botulinum. These results would not provide a definitive explanation for differences in toxin production in canned vegetables prepared with and without aspirin.

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