Establishing how milder preservatives inhibit Clostridium botulinum

Lead Research Organisation: University of East Anglia
Department Name: Graduate Office


Foodborne botulism is caused by neurotoxin formed by C. botulinum. Since this neurotoxin is the most potent toxin known, there is a massive effort to prevent foodborne botulism. Current food processing approaches provide a substantial safety margin, but there is increasing consumer demand for foods that contain mild preservatives without compromising safety. However, nothing is known of the mechanism by which these mild preservatives prevent growth and toxin formation by C. botulinum. The purpose of this project is to elucidate these mechanisms. A strong understanding of the mechanisms of action will give an increased confidence in the use of mild preservatives, and accelerate their adoption by industry. Furthermore, knowing the mechanism of action will also inform on the possibility of resistance or other adaptive mechanisms (antimicrobial resistance is a concern for preservatives as well as antibiotics!).


10 25 50

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
BB/M011216/1 01/10/2015 30/09/2023
1801735 Studentship BB/M011216/1 01/10/2016 30/09/2020 Ryan Sweet