The variability of times to detect growth from individual Clostridium botulinum type E endospores is differentially affected by high pressure treatments
High pressure thermal (HPT) processing is a candidate technology for the production of safe and stable food. However, little is known about the effect of HPT or high hydrostatic pressure (HHP) treatments at ambient temperature on the variability of times to detect growth from individual spores. We investigated this effect by treating Clostridium botulinum type E spores with HHP (200-600 MPa, 20°C) and HPT (600 MPa, 80°C and 800 MPa, 60°C). Our results indicate that the mean detection times increase and the frequency distribution shifts toward longer times when HHP treatment intensity is increased. HPT treatments result in a highly scattered distribution. In contrast, pressure levels ≤300 MPa decrease detection times and heterogeneity of their distribution, which could lead to an increase in the potential risk originating from C. botulinum type E spores. Data provided here could help to refine risk assessment regarding this important food intoxicator.