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Infectious pancreatic necrosis virus in fish by-products is inactivated with inorganic acid (pH 1) and base (pH 12)



The aquaculture industry needs a simple, inexpensive and safe method for the treatment of fish waste without heat. Microbial inactivation by inorganic acid (HCl) or base (KOH) was determined using infectious pancreatic necrosis virus (IPNV) as a model organism for fish pathogens. Salmonella and spores of Clostridium perfringens were general hygiene indicators in supplementary examinations. IPNV, which is considered to be among the most chemical- and heat-resistant fish pathogens, was reduced by more than 3 log in 4 h at pH 1.0 and pH 12.0. Salmonella was rapidly inactivated by the same treatment, whereas spores of C. perfringens were hardly affected. The results indicate that low and high pH treatment could be particularly suitable for fish waste destined for biogas production. pH treatment at aquaculture production sites could reduce the spread of fish pathogens during storage and transportation without disturbing the anaerobic digestion process. The treatment could also be an alternative to the current energy-intensive steam pressure sterilization of fish waste to be used by the bioenergy, fertilizer and soil improver industries.