Inactivation of Bacillus subtilis spores by supercritical CO2 treatment

Sara Spilimbergo*, A. Bertucco, F. M. Lauro, G. Bertoloni

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

72 Citations (Scopus)


Bacillus subtilis spores were suspended in saline solution (107 cfu/ml) and treated by both conventional heating and CO2 batch treatment at an operating pressure in the range of 70-150 bar under identical temperature conditions. Temperatures tested were in the range of 36-75 °C. Survival curves indicated significantly higher lethality when spores were treated with supercritical CO2 (SC-CO2) rather than with heating alone. These results appear particularly evident at 60 °C, a temperature at which conventional heating gave no spore-inactivation after a treating time as long as 24 h, whereas a 6 h SC-CO2 treatment led to complete sterilization. At 75 °C spores were partially killed with conventional heating but a treatment of 2 with SC-CO2 hours assured total inactivation. It is concluded that spore-inactivation during SC-CO2 treatment was only in part due to thermal effect (at the higher temperature of 75 °C) and there was a significant additional effect caused by CO2 penetration inside the latent bacteria forms.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)161-165
Number of pages5
JournalInnovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Bacillus subtilis
  • Spore-inactivation
  • Supercritical CO


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