Sensitivity and Optimization of artificial digestion in the inspection of meat for Trichinella spiralis
Posted: July 28th, 2010 - 7:34pm
Source: Foodborne Pathogens and Disease
In many countries, the method of choice in inspecting meat for Trichinella spiralis infection is artificial digestion. We conducted a study of the sensitivity of the artificial digestion method recommended by the International Commission on Trichinellosis for detecting T. spiralis larvae in meat and of the effect of modifications of some procedures used in the method on its sensitivity. As part of this, we evaluated the effects on larval recovery of the vessels used for larval settling, sieve sizes, and temperatures at which larvae passed through the sieves, using larvae from T. spiralis-infected mice. We observed the effects on larval recovery of digestion duration and of modified artificial digestion by using 10-g samples of infected mouse muscle alone or mixed with uninfected pork. The percentages of larvae recovered with the respective use of separatory funnels and conical cylinders were 51.20% and 98.70%. The rates of recovery of T. spiralis larvae at 4°C after passage through sieves of 425-μm mesh (No. 40), 250-μm mesh (No. 60), and 180-μm mesh (No. 80) were 98.42%, 90.59%, and 81.63%, which exceeded the 97.79%, 85.10%, and 61.12% rates of recovery of motile larvae at 40°C and the 95.12%, 78.60%, and 44.16% rates of recovery of dead larvae at 90°C. The larval recovery rate after digestion for 2 hours (96.18%) was greater than that after 0.5 hours (88.00%). We then examined a modified digestion method in which 10-g samples of pork mixed with 300mL of digestive solution were digested for 2 hours at 43°C followed by chilling of digest solution to 4°C before passing it through a 425-μm mesh (No. 40) sieve and allowing it to settle in a 1-L conical cylinder. With this procedure, the modified method detected T. spiralis in samples of pork meat weighing 10g and containing either 1 larva per gram or 0.1 larva per gram. Further validation of digestion method incorporating these modifications is required with the use of larger samples of infected muscle from species such as swine, which are routinely tested for T. spiralis for the purpose of food safety.