viernes, 15 de octubre de 2010

New method for detecting Clostridium Botulinum spores developed.

A Institute of Food Research has collaborated in the development of a new method for detecting spores of non-proteolytic Clostridium botulinum.

This bacterium is the major health hazard associated with refrigerated convenience foods, and these developments give the food industry and regulators more quantitative information on which to base the procedures that ensure food safety.

The botulinum neurotoxin is the most potent toxin known (just 30 ng of neurotoxin is sufficient to cause illness and even death), and the consumption of as little as 0.01g of food in which C. botulinum has grown can result in botulism.

The majority of cases of foodborne botulism are caused by two bacteria known as proteolytic C. botulinum and non-proteolytic C. Botulinum, wich can grow at refrigeration temperatures. This ability makes non-proteolytic C. botulinum a major hazard in minimally heated refrigerated foods, such as chilled ready meals.

The new method of detecting non-proteolytic C. botulinum is providing high quality information on the incidence of spores in food. An important feature of the new method is that it is specific, and enumerates only non-proteolytic C. botulinum spores. Also, the new method is very sensitive with a low detection limit that has been achieved by the use of a selective enrichment and large test samples, and importantly this has been confirmed using carefully structured control samples.

The robust method was developed as collaboration between the Nestlé Research Centre, Switzerland and IFR, an institute of the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)

Aporte: Natalia Schurch


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