The effect of salt level and nitrite on botulinal safety of smoked whitefish was investigated. An average water-phase (wp) salt concentration of 4.4% inhibited outgrowth of Clostridium botulinum type E spores (103 spores/g) for over 35 d in temperature-abused (27°C) smoked whitefish. Incorporation of nitrite (220 mg/kg) during brining to the smoked salted (4.4%, wp) whitefish inhibited toxin production for 56 d at 27°C. An average salt concentration of 6.2% (wp), with or without nitrite, totally inhibited toxin production for the duration of the study (83 d). The effect of pH and water activity in temperature-abused smoked whitefish as a means of controlling toxin production by C. botulinum type E spores was evaluated.

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Author notes

1Michigan Agricultural Experiment Station Journal Article No. 11831

2Present address: Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0919.