Challenge Testing for C. botulinum Neurotoxin in Food Products


Challenge Testing for C. botulinum Neurotoxin in Food Products


  20/03/2018 09:41:22

Challenge testing for the potential of botulinum toxin formation in chilled and other foods has been a hot topic of conversation for a number of years within the food industry.
 
QIB Extra take the view that challenge testing measuring formation of botulinum neurotoxin is significantly preferable to measuring a demonstrable increase in viable count. As botulinum toxin is the identified hazard, not the presence or quantity of the bacterium per se, it is imperative that botulinum toxin is measured.
 
This is backed up by studies which show C. botulinum toxin formation can occur in the absence of microbial growth, thus the measured absence of growth may give a completely incorrect impression of a safe product. In addition, the direct measurement of C. botulinum in foods is difficult as there is not a culture medium that is selective for C. botulinum, nor is there a medium that provides specific identification of C. botulinum. Simultaneous growth of non-toxigenic Clostridia species with similar morphological characteristics also presents a problem. Thus, challenge testing that relies solely on the detection of an increase in C. botulinum viable count does not follow best practice.
 
At QIB Extra we perform challenge tests that examine the ability of C. botulinum to produce toxin in products over their required shelf-life. Using our state-of-the-art containment facilities, unique collection of C. botulinum strains that are able to grow and produce toxin at chill temperatures and our bespoke in-house ELISA test, we are able to challenge test, and manufacture samples to mimic those produced within a processing environment.
 
To find out more about how QIB Extra can help you with challenge testing and product validation please contact info@qibextra.co.uk


 

Applied Research and Analytical Services for Industry

Let Us Call You Back

Please fill out the form below and we will get back to you as quickly as possible.

 
 Security code
Please see our privacy policy for details on how we use this data.


Latest News

Professor Mike Peck Joins the QIB Extra Team

17/09/2018

QIB Extra is excited to annouce the appointment of Professor Mick Peck, a leading expert in Clostridium botulinum microbiology. 

 

Read More

Guidelines issued for chilled foods shelf-life with respect to non-proteolytic Clostridium botulinum

12/07/2018

Quadram Institute Bioscience (QIB), in collaboration with the UK food industry and Australian research organisations, have produced guidance on the important factors to consider when determining the shelf-life of chilled foods with respect to non-proteolytic C.botulinum

Read More