Anisakis simplex is a common nematode parasite present in many marine fish, including finfish and squid. It can pose a public health problem if it is not destroyed during food processing. Anisakis larvae were isolated from fish tissue, and their survival of high-pressure treatments in distilled water and physiological isotonic solution was assayed. Treatment at a pressure of 200 MPa for 10 min at a temperature between 0 and 15°C kills all Anisakis larvae, with a lack of motility being used as an indicator of larval death. Lower pressures can be successfully employed down to 140 MPa, but with lower pressures, the treatment time must be increased by up to 1 h to kill all larvae. Meanwhile, most larvae treated for >10 min at pressures of >120 MPa were dead, with the autofluorescence method being used to determine death. Cycles of compression and decompression increase the destruction of larvae compared with a single pressure treatment for a similar treatment time. Our results indicate that high-pressure treatment is an alternative nonthermal method for killing this nematode. The possible mechanism of death and damage by pressure is discussed, and uses for this treatment in food processing are suggested.

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