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Inhibitor of Clostridium perfringens Formed by Heating Sodium Nitrite in a Chemically Defined Medium

By Dennis M. Moran, Steven R. Tannenbaum and Michael C. Archer


An inhibitor of Clostridium perfringens formed when low levels of nitrite were autoclaved with a defined chemical medium. A systematic study of the medium revealed that only amino acids and mineral salts were involved in the production of this inhibitor, which was proven to be a toxic compound formed from cysteine, ferrous sulfate, and sodium nitrite. The inhibitor was compared to several known compounds. S-nitrosocysteine inhibited the test organism, but would not form in the test system in amounts large enough to explain the observed inhibition. Roussin red salt was unstable in the test system and therefore was not the inhibitor. Roussin black salt, which was also inhibitory, could form in sufficient amounts to explain the inhibition. A complex of cysteine, iron, and nitrie oxide was detected in the autoclaved solution of cysteine, ferrous sulfate, and sodium nitrite; this cysteine complex did not appear to be inhibitory, however, at levels which could form in the autoclaved medium. The observed inhibition may have been due to the combined effects of sublethal concentrations of each compound

Topics: Food Microbiology and Toxicology
Year: 1975
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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