Inactivation of the Toxin in Food

In his initial studies a century ago, van Ermengem demonstrated that the toxic substance responsible for foodborne botulism was heat sensitive (1). Botulinum toxins A, B, E, and F are inactivated by heating at 79°C for 20 minutes or 85°C for 5 minutes (186). Thermal inactivation of the toxin is not a linear function. Substances in food such as divalent cations and organic acid anions protect the toxin from heat. The toxin is stable at pH 5. Ionizing radiation at doses set for food preservation has no effect on their toxicity.

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