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Inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores at various germination and outgrowth stages using intense pulsed light

Jo, Hye-Lim, Hwang, Hee-Jeong, Chung, Myong-Soo
Food microbiology 2019 v.82 pp. 409-415
Bacillus subtilis, bacterial spores, food irradiation, food quality, food safety, foods, germination, heat treatment, spore-forming bacteria, temperature, vegetative cells
It is important to inactivate spore-forming bacteria in foods because their spores are highly resistant to various stresses. Although thermal treatment is an effective inactivation method, the associated high temperatures can cause changes in food quality. Intense pulsed light (IPL) is a nonthermal technique that can effectively improve food safety. This study evaluated the inactivation effects of IPL at various fluences on Bacillus subtilis spores. IPL treatment at a total fluence of 7.40 J/cm2 resulted in a 7 log reduction, indicating the potential of IPL to effectively inactivate bacterial spores. The sensitivity of B. subtilis spores to IPL during germination and outgrowth was also measured. The resistance to the IPL increased temporarily until 1 h after the start of incubation, and then gradually decreased for longer incubation periods. This temporary increase in resistance at the early stage of incubation was attributed to the leakage of dipicolinic acid from the spores. The results also showed that the inactivation efficiency increases after 1 h pre-incubation because the numbers of vegetative cells increased with the incubation time.