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Moist heat such as boiling water destroys vegetative bacteria and viruses. Pasteurization significantly reduces the numbers of heat-sensitive organisms. Autoclaves use pressurized steam to achieve high temperatures that kill microbes, including endospores. The commercial canning process is designed to destroy the endospores of Clostridium botulinum. Dry heat takes longer than moist heat to kill microbes.

■ Why is it important that the commercial canning process destroys the endospores of Clostridium botulinum?

■ What are two purposes of pasteurization?

■ Would endospores be destroyed in the pasteurization process?

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