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Heat Inactivation Kinetics of Spores and Toxins in Liquid Milk

Award No.: 
Principal Investigator: 
Theodore Labuza
PI Organization: 
University of Minnesota-Twin Cities
The goal of this project was the development of an easy to achieve thermal process (with or without added biocides) capable of inactivating B. anthracis spores and ricin in intentionally adulterated foods so as to dispose of them to minimize their release to the environment. In the event of a bioterrorist attack this process could be used to treat fluid milk for disposal and/or decontamination purposes as well as for a potential protective measure. The specific objectives of this project were to: 1) determine thermal death kinetics of B. anthracis spores in milk as a function of temperature; 2) evaluate the effectiveness of a combined biocide/thermal treatment to inactivate spores and define the time/temperature/concentration combinations that could deliver a 6 log CFU/mL spore inactivation in less than 1 min; 3) characterize the stability of ricin to thermal and biocide treatments in milk; and 4) determine the detoxifying effect of temperature combined with biocides on ricin added to milk.
Analytic Methods Utilized: