Preservative efficacy testing: considerations and areas for savings

By Joseph Heinzelmann

Often one of the first questions we receive about the BioLumix system is “how much does it cost?” While this blog post won’t be able to cover specifics on the costs of the BioLumix system or the individual tests, it will outline some of the considerations and areas for savings as it relates to preservative efficacy testing according to the United States Pharmacopeia <51>.  In our example analysis, we are able to reduce the cost of doing PET by nearly 40%.

USP <51> helps show the effectiveness of a preservative, or a preservative system. This testing is done according to the procedures outlined in USP Chapter <51> Antimicrobial Effectiveness Testing. This chapter describes in detail which organisms to use, the appropriate inoculum based on a product, and the necessary log reductions that the preservative system needs to achieve.

Before getting started on a comparison of protocols, we have to make sure a suitability study has been performed. The following link describes how suitability can be performed: http://www.mybiolumix.com/the-importance-of-suitability-testing/. The experts at Neogen can help you with your suitability testing questions.

Before a side-by-side comparison is done, a validation is required of any alternative method. Using the protocol outlines in USP chapter <1223> Validation of Alternative Microbiological Methods we can see that the BioLumix system meets the following requirements: Specificity, Limit of detection, precision and repeatability, robustness ruggedness, false negative rate, and false positive rate. A more in-depth discussion around USP validations and Neogen’s Validation book can be found here: http://www.mybiolumix.com/biolumix-validation-book-for-dietary-supplements/

An overview of USP <51> can be found here: http://www.mybiolumix.com/guidelines-simplified-automated-microbiology-testing-system. The two methods can be broken down into two approaches; materials and labor. Comparing the materials is straight forward. Reviewing the protocol shows that each time point requires an analysis of 3 bacteria, 1 yeast and 1 mold. Each organism requires a neutralization, and multiple dilutions when using traditional microbiology. Each organism also requires a total of 5 plates! Each plate requires a dilution blank, as well as a pipette tip.


There are several points of parity between the USP <51> traditional plate count methodology and the BioLumix system. First, the BioLumix system also requires 3 bacteria, 1 yeast, and 1 mold to comply with USP <51>. Each method will also test the preservative system at multiple time points over the course of 28 days. However, the BioLumix system is able to provide a microbiological count without 5 plates, without multiple dilution blanks, and without multiple pipette tips. The picture below helps illustrate how a nearly 40% reduction is achieved with Neogen’s BioLumix system methodology.

The second comparison is to determine the amount of labor required to run a USP <51> protocol with traditional methods. With the automation of the BioLumix system eliminates plate reading. The vials in the BioLumix system are automatically read, and the result is recorded in the database. Report writing is simplified with the Certificate of Analysis generated automatically. Time study estimates performed by Neogen estimate the labor reduction using BioLumix for PET is greater than 60%!

The BioLumix system is great for additional quality testing according to USP chapters 61 and 62. The advantages of BioLumix for this application has been covered in a recent blog post: http://www.mybiolumix.com/the-relevance-of-usp-methodology-in-microbiology-in-pharmaceuticals/.

Learn more by asking our experts for a cost breakdown, suitability analysis or additional information by contacting the author or our microbiology experts.

 

Reducing the cost of preservative efficacy testing

By Joe Heinzelmann

The implementation of cGMP for all manufacturers (large and small) of dietary supplements andNutraceutical productsmeans that all manufacturers must test their products for microbiology quality assurance and generate a Certificate of Analysis for each batch. Products must be tested in accordance with the methods described in USP <2021> and <2022>.  This includes testing for Total Aerobic Microbial Count, Total Combined Yeast and Mold, Bile-Tolerant-Gram-Negative bacteria, and objectionable organisms (absent in 10 grams of organisms such as SalmonellaE. coli, and sometimes S. aureus). To do these tests companies either send product samples to contract laboratories for microbiological testing or test them internally.

Internal testing of products for microbiology gives the manufacturer much more control over the operation, but some manufacturers are hesitant to bring the microbiology testing in-house for fear of the complexity of testing or the need for trained microbiologist(s).  Also daunting is the need for a full validation package which is required for any method that deviates from the USP methodology. Here’s the good news – BioLumix offers a solution that gives faster time to results, quicker product release, cost effective operation, and strengthens key profit drivers.   This is all achieved on a single platform that is easy to use, validated to USP requirements, and doesn’t require additional skilled personnel.

At BioLumix, we don’t just offer you a simplified, rapid, automated microbiology system… we provide the Complete BioLumix Experience!

What is the Complete BioLumix Experience?  It’s having, from initial contact to the completion of the installation and beyond, our commitment to providing unparalleled support and total customer satisfaction.

In 2006, Ruth & Gideon Eden established BioLumix, Inc.  Today, because of their extensive backgrounds in science and technology combined with customer-oriented sales and support staff, we have raised the simplification, automation and speed of microbiology testing to a new level.

  • Needs Assessment - Whether you contact us direct or through our website you can count on our sales team to respond quickly.  The focus is on your needs and goals.  Our BioLumix Technology Presentation provides an in depth look into how and why our system will work for you.  In addition, we can quickly and easily show you the value and the ROI the system will bring to your company.
  • Expertise – Knowing how the BioLumix system will work with your samples gives you peace of mind.  That’s why we test samples – YOUR samples – for you at our laboratory in Ann Arbor, MI.  We do this for you at no cost and at no obligation!  Once completed, expect a comprehensive report from one of our expert microbiologists. That same microbiologist spends two and a half days on-site for training and installation of the system.
  • Validation – If you are concerned about validation, here is more good news.  We provide complete SOPs along with a customized Validation book which includes Installation Qualification (IQ), Operations Qualification (OQ) and Performance Qualification (PQ).
  • Simplicity and Ease-of-Use-  The easy to master BioLumix system offers a new level of productivity.  Sample preparation takes less than 2 minutes; just add the sample to the diluent and mix.  Pipette the appropriate amount into the vial and place it into the instrument and record the sample and assay information into the computer.  The rest is totally automated.  The Certificates of Analysis will automatically be generated in as little as 24-48 hours!
  • Support – Our jobs center on satisfying our customers and providing unparalleled support.  At BioLumix you receive 24/7 support plus a microbiologist dedicated to service you and answer your questions.  What happens if you encounter a problem? Troubleshooting can be done via the internet and in most cases problems are resolved.   If needed we provide a loaner instrument while your instrument is being fixed to minimize downtime.  Our website provides instant access to information and resources about our technology, instruments, assays, and more.  It’s also mobile-enabled to format to your handheld devices.  Links to social media, white papers, blogs, videos, and other informative contact information puts everything you need at your fingertips.
  • Continuous Product Improvement – At BioLumix we have an ongoing commitment to evolving and adding to our platform.   One way this is achieved is through our partnership with our customers.  Customer feedback, along with a desire to increase the breadth and depth of our offerings, helps us to make improvements to our media and our assays.  We have recently introduced two new assays – Listeria and Bacillus cereus.

With a simplified method such as the BioLumix System we can provide a simple cost effective method to test products for microbiology.

Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) in the Microbiology Lab

By: Paul Dudley

Today’s microbiology laboratories can generate an extensive amount of data across a variety of technologies.  Labs are tasked with providing  test results and information that is vital to the success of the organization and the safety of its products.   Of course, businesses and consumers demand efficiency – the goal is not only to provide safe products, but to provide them as quickly as possible.  As labs are updated and become more modern, better methods of data management and record keeping may be necessary in order to maintain or improve efficiency.  Luckily, there is a means to achieve this: Laboratory Information Management Systems, or LIMS. [1]

LIMS are software-based information systems that allows labs to track and share data within their environment.  There are numerous LIMS software applications, both open-source and proprietary.  But all have the same general goal – to help streamline data management to improve efficiency while reducing overhead costs.  LIMS can provide significant time savings for all people involved in a project by improving data access.  [3]

Example diagram showing the concept behind a Laboratory Information Management System and how data & information can be shared within a laboratory environment.

There are many advantages that the incorporation of a Laboratory Information Management System has over a more manual, traditional laboratory.  Some of these include improved efficiency, the ability to go paperless, cost reduction, and compliance.  Keep in mind, there are quite a few options when it comes to implementing a LIMS system, and whether it was initially an open-source application or a purchased program, a great deal of customization is usually implemented.  So when we talk about advantages, some may be more often utilized than others.  But any of these features can be of great benefit, depending on the wants and needs of the individual lab.

Efficiency

Improved efficiency is easily recognized when you eliminate the potential for errors from manual data entry.  The greater the amount of samples being processed and the total workload, the greater the chance for an error.  On the other hand, LIMS streamlines data entry by automating the process.  This results in less downtime, faster access to data, and the ability for the LIMS to grow with the increasing needs of the lab.

Paperless

Some LIMS programs will authorize users to either modify existing reports or create new ones.  Also, web-based applications can interface with the LIMS so users don’t need to work directly with the LIMS itself but rather can work with just the reporting modules that in turn query the database [5] .  QC Management can use LIMS for scheduling and Certificates of Analysis.  Another great ‘paperless’ feature of LIMS is the ability of some programs to hold all pricing information for tests, which allows invoices to be produced for online access or as PDF documents [5] .  There are many examples of projects for implementing a paperless lab and how they benefited their labs, and one example showed a 30-40% gain in resources as a result of going paperless [6] .

Cost Reduction

When it comes to management at an executive level, the proof is in the bottom line.  Successful businesses rely on effective cost management.  Total costs of operations come in many forms, including labor, resources, downtime, time-to-market,  and more.  LIMS can impact many of these costs of doing business.  For example, one laboratory that implemented a LIMS system reduced its capital investment by 50%, while productivity rose at multiple laboratories [3] .  Another lab saw a 50% increase in throughput two years after implementing their LIMS [7] .  When you consider the time savings, efficiency, and the resulting improvements in time-to-market, LIMS can significantly contribute to overall improvements in cost management.

Compliance

Product safety continues to be scrutinized in every market – including Food & Beverage, Nutraceutical, Cosmetics, and Pharmaceuticals.  Regulatory requirements are implemented to help reduce the risk of contamination, and different products and ingredients require different requirements.  This makes LIMS very essential.  LIMS can assist in real-time monitoring and Quality Control.  Workflows can be managed, samples logged, and tests can be checked against protocols and procedures to ensure compliance.  Out-of-spec samples can be reported automatically and flagged.   Reports can be automatically generated, and access to this information can be quickly gained by QC.  The overall increase in a structured approach via LIMS ensures compliance as business grows and throughput needs increase.

Neogen Corporation provides Rapid Microbiology Method (RMM) platforms such as BioLumix and Soleris.  Both systems can interface and exist within a LIMS environment.  For more information, visit http://www.mybiolumix.com or go to www.neogen.com.

The BioLumix system provides a single platform for all microbiology assays available for that system, allowing a large variety of tests without the need of additional equipment.  And its versatile – the modular design allows it to grow to meet throughput needs.   Results of tests for assays such as Total Aerobic Count, Yeast & Mold, Salmonella, and many more can be obtained within 24-48 hours.  Tests are be monitored in real time, and a Certificate of Analysis is automatically generated.  The system validates to USP <51>, <61>, <62>, <2021>, <2022>, and <2023> [9] .  In addition, Environmental Monitoring and Water Testing can be performed on the same platform.

Other advantages of the BioLumix System:

• Fully automated, easy to use.
• Faster sample preparation
• Faster turnaround time
• Fully Validated - the system comes complete with IQ, OQ, PQ and all SOP  documentation
• Outstanding support

As mentioned before, there are too many LIMS vendors to mention in this document.  Some applications will be better suited than others for your specific needs.  http://www.Limswiki.org has an extensive list of vendors that provide LIMS systems, and they even break out the vendors by industry.  So if you are looking for something more suited for Cosmetics, or for Food & Beverage, you can find those subcategories within that site.  It’s not the end-all be-all of resources, but it might be a good place to start.

SOURCES:
1. http://www.thermoscientific.com/content/tfs/en/products/lab-information-management-systems-lims.html
2. http://www0.cs.ucl.ac.uk/staff/B.Tagger/LimsPaper.pdf
3. http://khemia.com/clients/case-studies/
4. Ruth Eden, Ph. D., Neogen Corp.
5. Food Quality Magazine (http://www.foodquality.com/details/article/5621151/The_Paperless_Microbiology_Laboratory.html?tzcheck=1)
6. http://www.labmanager.com/laboratory-technology/2010/01/the-paperless-lab?fw1pk=2#.VIISO8mRJtY
7. http://www.labnews.co.uk/features/taking-lims-to-a-hire-level/
8. http://www.scientific-computing.com/features/feature.php?feature_id=246
9. http://www.mybiolumix.com/BioLumix-System-rapid-microbiological-methods

 

The Relevance of USP Methodology in Microbiology for dietary supplements and cosmetic products – Part 2

By: Jennifer Johnson

Routine microbiological testing carried out by the Nutraceutical,
dietary supplements, cosmetics and toiletry manufacturing industries is determined by regulatory requirements. This applies not only to what should be tested and when, but also to the methods that should be used. Whether the final product is sterile or non-sterile, the bioburden exists from the raw materials, throughout the process and/or within the product’s environment (e.g. water) to the final product. A critical review of the overall microbiological process will determine whether the final product will meet its acceptance criteria. In addition, any “objectionable” or “specified” microorganisms that may be encountered during the procurement of raw materials and the processing must be considered.

Whether you are testing a raw material, an in-process sample, final product, or the environment, you should be aware of the critical role that microorganisms play throughout the process. You should also be familiar with the various microbiological related documents needed to determine whether the SOPs, validations, and regulatory body documents are being maintained to assure the control required to permit the final product to enter the marketplace as safe.

The Unites States Pharmacopeia (USP) is a non-governmental organization. Their documents are recognized as an official compendia book of methods and standards for Pharmaceutical, nutraceutical, dietary supplements, cosmetics, and toiletries. The USP offers a variety of documents such as monographs (published standards) and general chapters. General chapters with numbers 1000 are considered informational chapters.

Nutritional and Dietary Supplement USP Chapters
Since June 25, 2010, all dietary supplement manufacturers have been required to comply with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) current good manufacturing practices (cGMP’s) according to the guidance outlined in USP chapters,, and.

<2021> Microbial Enumeration Tests – Nutritional and Dietary Supplements – This chapter provides tests for the estimation of the number of viable aerobic microorganisms present in nutritional supplements, from raw materials to the finished products.

<2022> Microbiological Procedures for Absence of Specified Microorganisms – Nutritional and Dietary Supplements -
Good manufacturing practices require that objectionable organisms be absent from non-sterile nutritional and dietary products. A microorganism can be considered objectionable if it represents a potential health hazard to the user who is using the product as directed, or if it is capable of growing in the product.

<2023> Microbiological Attributes of Nonsterile Nutritional and Dietary Supplements - The development of the formulation of nutritional or dietary supplements includes an evaluation of raw materials and their suppliers and the contribution made to the products by each ingredient and the manufacturing processes. Guidelines to help determine the appropriate tests to establish the microbial content of each ingredient are found in chapter.

The BioLumix system can perform all of the microbiological assays needed to get the finished product to the marketplace faster than traditional methods.

1. Microbial results can be generated in 24-48 hours in assays such as Total Aerobic Count, Yeast and Mold, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa while utilizing one system.
2. The system can analyze tablets, capsules, powder, liquid and viscous material without any product interference.
3. The BioLumix system has software that is 21 CFR Part 111 compliant and BioLumix generates a customized validation book for each of its customers that include: Installation qualification (IQ), Operational qualification (OQ), and Performance qualification (PQ).

For more information click here.

Cosmetic and Toiletry USP Chapters
There are three USP chapters that are most important to the cosmetics and toiletry industries, <51>, <61> and <62>:

<51> Antimicrobial Effectiveness Testing - The ultimate purpose of the Preservative Efficacy Test (PET) is to determine the effectiveness of the preservative(s) present in a cosmetic or toiletry product. USP Chapter describes the type of products to be tested (categories), the specified microorganisms to be used for testing, and the inoculum and log reduction amounts required per category of product. The product to be tested is inoculated with a high number of bacteria, yeast, and mold, and the reduction in the initial inoculum amount is calculated over a 28 day period.

<61> Microbiological Examination of Nonsterile Products: Microbial Enumeration Tests - Suitability testing is performed in order to verify that the method utilized eliminates the effect of any antimicrobial properties of the product. Therefore, the media diluent combination does not inhibit the recovery and growth of microorganisms, if present in the sample. The goal of the suitability testing is to establish the ability of the test to detect microorganisms in the presence of product. The suitability described in USP verifies the validity of the testing method by showing the recovery of microorganisms in presence of the product.

Microbiological Examination of Nonsterile Products: Tests for Specified Microorganisms – Suitability testing using USP is performed by using selective media to detect various organisms such as: Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli, bile-tolerant gram-negative bacteria, Clostridia, Salmonella and Candida albicans in the presence of the product. The samples are first enriched by incubating in Trypticase Soy Broth (TSB) or another appropriate neutralizing media, and then streaked onto selective agars for the determination of presence of specified or the objectionable microorganisms.

The Relevance of USP Methodology in Microbiology in Pharmaceuticals

The Importance of Suitability Testing

Posted by Caron Ockerman

Many pharmaceutical, cosmetic, and toiletry products contain preservatives that help extend the product’s shelf life, keeping spoilage at bay for a certain period of time, and also act with antimicrobial properties if microbes are introduced.  A consumer dipping a finger into a jar of facial cream has introduced microbes into the cream, and the preservative should effectively kill or reduce the number of microorganisms (for more information on preservative effectiveness, please read the blog “Preservative Efficacy Testing: Guidelines to an Automated Simplified Testing System”).

Why we need suitability testing? The measurement of preservative test requires the ability to count the number of surviving microorganisms after exposure to the antimicrobial agent in the product.  Bioburden (also called microbial content) testing has the same requirement because the assay depends on the ability to recover viable microorganisms in the presence of potentially antimicrobial in the product or raw materials. Carryover of residual inhibitors from the product could inhibit growth in the recovery medium, leading to poor microbial recovery. This potential residual activity must be neutralized and it is necessary to demonstrate the adequacy of neutralization for the test. This demonstration of neutralization in compendial microbiological tests is known as demonstration of method suitability.

Therefore, before conducting any microbiological test, it is important to find the most effective neutralizing agent or dilution that will create a suitable environment for growth, allowing for accurate results during microbial content and preservative efficacy testing.

How to test for Suitability- Suitability in the presence of product is the ability of microorganisms to grow when introduced in low numbers.  Following the plate count method for suitability in USP Chapter <61> MICROBIOLOGICAL EXAMINATION OF NONSTERILE PRODUCTS: MICROBIAL ENUMERATION TESTS, the appropriate growth media alone (control) and the product (test) are inoculated with 10-100 cfu.  The inoculated product is then diluted 1 to 10.   If growth occurs on control plates, but does not grow on test plates, or counts are half that of the control plates, neutralization or further dilution may be necessary to show suitability of product.

How to Neutralize Inhibitors- Depending upon the type of product and the inhibitory system being tested, different diluents should be used as some products may require neutralization of a strong preservative that would suppress growth of naturally occurring microbes.  Table 1 below summarizes some neutralizing agents used in common neutralizing broths such as Modified Letheen Tween (MLT) broth, D/E Neutralizer, and Tryptone Azolectin Tween (TAT) broth among others.

Sometimes, even the use of a neutralizing agent may not be enough, and dilution further than 1 to 10 may be necessary.  It is important to keep in mind that five different organisms are being tested in one product, and what allows one organism to grow might not work as well for another.  Essentially, it is important to find any and all different parameters that make a product suitable for inoculation.

Once a proper neutralizer or dilution is found for each product and organism, microbial content testing and PET testing can proceed.  Without performing suitability testing first, microbial content testing and PET may yield false negative results; bacteria, yeast or mold may be present, but simply remain dormant until the optimal growth conditions are introduced.

The suitability test can be performed very simply and quickly with the BioLumix system.

Use of BioLumix System for suitability testing- The BioLumix system is capable of determining whether a product meets suitability standards.  Products and controls are inoculated, then 1.0 mL is added to the BioLumix vials, entered into the instruments, and initial results may be observed within 18-24 hours.  The figure shows examples of curves obtained from the BioLumix system using Staphylococcus aureus with various preservative systems.  The top picture shows a product that is properly neutralized. While as the bottom picture demonstrates that without proper neutralization, product can hinder the growth of organisms.

In the BioLumix instrument, if the detection time (DT) of the media without product is within a couple of hours of the product containing media it means that enough neutralization is achieved. If there is a DT without the product in the positive control; but the sample containing vial does not have a DT it means that the product prevents the growth of bacteria and a different neutralization scheme needs to be employed.

What are the advantages of the BioLumix system?
Time Saving: The results are available much faster, for example, the results of the Yeast and Mold vials occurred in less than 48 hours, instead of five days for countable colonies. All products tested with bacteria using the automated BioLumix assay yielded results typically within 10-18 hours, instead of 48 hours for the plate count methodology. The advantage using the BioLumix system is that you can see results an entire day earlier if the product is exhibiting any sort of inhibition.

Labor Saving: The setup of the assay can be done much faster using the BioLumix system as opposed to traditional plating methods, saving significant hands-on labor due to its automation and simplicity of use.

High Correlation with USP: The BioLumix System showed a high correlation between the instrument results and the USP methodology.

Water testing- Heterotrophic bacteria, coliforms and E. coli- Why and how to test

Water Quality

Water QualityWater is used in a variety of different industries as well as products within various industries, including Nutraceutical and Dietary Supplement, Pharmaceutical, cosmetics, toiletry industries.  Water can be used as a product ingredient, for example, to create the capsules that contain the supplement.  In the manufacture of the capsules many companies use their own water to create and encapsulate their products.   Water is also used for the cleaning of certain equipment and contact surfaces.

According to USP 1231, although there are no absolute microbial standards for water (other than water intended to be sterile), the CGMP regulations require the establishment of appropriate specifications. The specification must take into account the intended use of the water; i.e., water used to formulate a product should contain no organisms capable of growing in the product. Action or alert limits should be established based upon validation data and must be set low enough to signal significant changes from normal operating conditions.

Control of the microbiological quality of water is important for many of its uses. All packaged forms of water are required to be sterile because some of their intended uses require this for health and safety reasons. The needed microbial specification for a given bulk water depends upon its use. Some applications may require even more careful microbial control to avoid the proliferation of microorganisms ubiquitous to water during the purification, storage, and distribution.

To ensure adherence to certain minimal microbiological quality standards, water used in the production of drug substances or as source or feed water for the preparation of the various types of purified waters must meet the requirements of the National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (NPDWR) (40 CFR 141) issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or the drinking water regulations of the European Union or Japan, or the WHO drinking water guidelines. Microbiological requirements of drinking water ensure the absence of coliforms, which, if determined to be of fecal origin, may indicate the potential presence of other potentially pathogenic microorganisms and viruses of fecal origin. Meeting these microbiological requirements does not rule out the presence of other microorganisms, which could be considered undesirable if found in a drug substance or formulated product.

USP<1115> deals with bioburden of non-sterile drug substances and products, and the chapter states that the biggest manufacturing risk is water as an ingredient.  Process water is the single most important risk factor contributing to the contamination of nonsterile products.  The purified waters that are used in manufacturing are deionized and do not contain chlorine that helps control microbial growth.  Purified water is capable of supporting growth of gram negative rod shaped bacteria and many different molds.

Water TestingThe FDA also covers a wide range of different types of water that can be used for pharmaceutical uses and describes different sources for water contamination.  The FDA even states that microbial contamination of oral liquids and topical drug products are a significant problem that is usually caused by contaminated water.  Due to the potential health risks involved with the use of contaminated water, particular attention should be paid to the deionized (DI) water systems, especially at smaller manufacturers.

Chlorinated water may be appropriate for early stage cleaning and sanitization activities, but the uses are risky and should only be used on a case by case basis.  Microbial enumeration is an integral component of a water monitoring system to assess the microbial quality of the water.  Some systems use both high-nutrient (PCA) and low-nutrient (R2A) media to allow the isolation of both heterotrophic organisms and slower growing oligotrophic bacteria.

Water testing is also important when dealing with well water, tap water and even bottled water.  The EPA uses coliform as an indicator of possible fecal contamination.  Coliforms naturally found in the environment, and are usually non-pathogenic, but their presence may indicate fecal coliforms.

The Rapid Automated BioLumix System

BioLumix SystemBioLumix automated; all-in-one microbial testing system is an ideal system for in plant water testing.  The system is fast, simple and cost-effective.  A novel optical system sensing color and fluorescence in ready-to-use vials provides faster results, labor savings, automation, and connectivity. The BioLumix system is capable of testing water for heterotrophic bacteria, total aerobic bacteria, E. coli, coliforms, fecal coliforms and yeast and molds. Using the BioLumix system will quickly determine the microbial quality of the water.

Heterotrophic Vial: This vial can detect organisms requiring low-nutrient media (similar to (R2A) to allow the isolation of both heterotrophic organisms and slower growing oligotrophic bacteria. In a study, over 50 samples of multiple different water types were tested by the BioLumix method and the plate count method side-by-side.  The BioLumix vials were directly inoculated with 0.1 mL of the water sample, or a 1.0 mL of a 1:100 dilution, and a few samples were inoculated with heterotrophic bacteria.  The samples were monitored in the BioLumix instrument for 35 hours.  The results showed that the BioLumix system was roughly 13 hours faster than the plate count method using Stand Methods Agar.  These particular samples were tested at specified levels <10 cfu/ml and <100cfu/ml, but the BioLumix method can detect organisms at levels of <1 cfu/ml of water.

Bottled water for human consumption also needs to be tested for coliforms, which are indicators of possible contamination. The FDA requires either MPN or membrane filtration to check 100 ml of water for any contamination. The MPN method which requires at least nine tubes to perform the test and up to 96 hours of testing; while BioLumix can do the same analysis using just one vial in less than quarter of the time.  The filter method can also be applied using the BioLumix system by filtering the 100ml onto a membrane filter and placing the filter directly into the vial.

What are the advantages of the BioLumix system?

The system serves, as a platform to perform all required assays- using the BioLumix system will allow the users to test for coliforms, heterotrophic bacteria, E. coli and Yeast/Mold. The system can be used for water testing as well as for testing raw materials, in process and finished products.

Saving time- The BioLumix system can save time when testing water for Heterotrophic bacteria instead of taking three days using traditional plates, the BioLumix system will give the same results in 35 hours.

Economical cost of assays: Instead of running an MPN assay, which will require up to 5 days of testing as well as 9 tubes of LTB and up to 9 tubes of EC Media to wait for confirmation of a positive fecal coliform, the BioLumix system requires less than 24 hours and a single vial.

References:

http://www.fda.gov/ICECI/Inspections/InspectionGuides/InspectionTechnicalGuides/ucm072925.htm -Water for Pharmaceutical Use

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodScienceResearch/LaboratoryMethods/ucm064948.htm  Enumeration of Escherichia coli and the Coliform Bacteria

USP <1115> Bioburden Control of Nonsterile Drug Substances and Products

USP <1231> Water Treatment Systems For Industrial & Commercial Use.

TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING

Putting together an environmental monitoring plan requires a thoughtful, scientific approach establishing and considering the risks of contamination from each location along the manufacturing process.
environment monitor
WHY MONITOR THE ENVIRONMENT?

Environmental monitoring (EM) is a basic requirement across many regulated industries such as food, cosmetics, Nutraceutical, dietary supplements, and pharmaceuticals. It measures the degree of maintaining environmental control and, therefore, the safety of the manufactured products. Maintaining environmental control can prevent product contamination.

The FDA evaluates the environment of manufacturing facilities against the regulatory code, and the potential of the product allowing for growth of organisms. They expect manufacturers to be in control of the environmental conditions in their facility. There is evidence that a relationship exists between the level of environmental control and the final quality of the product. In product safety, the EM program serves a critical role that the environment is under appropriate control.

In manufacturing facilities, there is a need to demonstrate that production equipment is sufficiently clean thereby the next production lots are not contaminated from the material of the previous lot.

An effective sampling plan needs to be established, the purpose of a microbial EM program is to:
• Provide crucial information on the quality of the work process environment during manufacturing
• Prevent future microbial contamination by detecting and reacting to adverse trends
• Prevent the release of a potentially contaminated batch if the appropriate standards are not met
• Prevent the risk of contamination of the product
• Ensure there are environmental controls in the production areas
• Provide a profile of of the microbial cleanliness of the manufacturing environment.

SITE SELECTION FOR DATA COLLECTION

The site’s selection for data collection should show the effectiveness of cleaning. Such as:
• Site where the product is exposed to people and equipment
• Critical sites that can change product integrity if compromised
• Areas and processes steps where microbial contamination must not happen, such as the final filling of the product into its containers.

In establishing an EM plan, the number and location for sampling sites should be established. When choosing the sampling sites, there needs to be a good representation of risk-based sites where the environment can affect the product quality. Examples of such location include areas that are difficult to clean, or areas close to critical operations.

For sterile products, the manufacturer needs to keep the bioburden of the pre-sterilization as low as possible. There is a need to monitor the air, water, personnel, and surfaces as they all can contribute to the bioburden.
For non-sterile, low bioburden products, there are two main reasons for monitoring the environment:
1. To keep product bioburden under control
2. To know if the environmental isolates could contain objectionable organisms.

Other important questions to consider include:
? What is the antimicrobial effectiveness of the product?
? Will the product promote microbial growth?
? If so, which organisms can grow and get around the inhibitors build into the products?

ESTABLISH A BASELINE

Before initiating an EM program, it is recommended to get a baseline of total aerobic count, Yeast and mold count, perhaps coliform or Enterobacteriaceae, and in some instances lack of objectionable organisms on surfaces and the air. Establishing a baseline also allows for assessments of the types of organisms present, and helps in developing a scientifically sound disinfection program to address chemical kill and physical removal of such contaminants. The data subsequently collected during microbiological performance qualification, and routine monitoring helps to validate the efficacy of disinfection and cleaning procedures.

CHOOSE SUITABLE METHOD FOR EM

method for monitoring - swabsMost EM is done by plate counting of colonies on agar media, which is simple and inexpensive. However, plate count methods are slow, requiring two to seven days to complete, thereby causing a delay in the detection of contamination, which can lead to an increase in product loss, plant downtime and expensive cleanup. Delays can cause increasing inventory holding cost. The delay in obtaining results impacts reaction to contamination issues and can make investigations very difficult. The plate count methodology is also labor-intensive and requires manual data entry and documentation. Such documentation is prone to human errors and compliance issues.
Methods are available to measure total particles in the air, including Total Organic Carbon (TOC), and Adenosine Tri-phosphate (ATP).These methods are very fast to perform but do not correlate well with total bacterial count or any specific group of organisms, and do not measure viable organisms (Carricket al., 2001; Easter, 2010). Therefore, these results do not measure viable organisms in the environment or on production lines.

WHY BIOLUMIX

why BioLumixThe BioLumix system is useful for rapid and simple monitoring of the manufacturing environment. A large validation study was performed (Eden and Brideau 2012) to show that is correlates well with the plate count method. The BioLumix system was validated as an alternative to the plate count method for EM. The study involved 549 surface coupons representing five diverse types of material. These five surfaces represent those encountered in manufacturing, including metal, plastics and rubber. Some of the coupons were inoculated with bacteria, yeast, or mold. There was 100% agreement between BioLumix assay and the plate count assay for the 260 coupons that were determined to be below the specified level by the plate count method. There was an overall agreement of 97.2%between the two methods when swabs containing counts above the specified level were used. In general, discrepancies in swab results between the BioLumix vial method and the traditional plate count method reflected marginal samples that were very close to the specified testing level, and thus were variable.

REFERENCES

Carrick, K, Barney M, Navarro, A. and Ryder D. (2001). The Comparison of Four Bioluminometers and Their Swab Kits for Instant Hygiene Monitoring and Detection of Microorganisms in the Brewery. J. Institute of Brewing 107, 32-37
Easter M. (2010) A comparison of commercial ATP hygiene monitoring systems. Next Generation Food issue 9, 2010.
Eden, R. and Brideau, R. (2012). Validation of a Rapid System for Environmental Monitoring and Water Testing. In Environmental Monitoring Volume 6, Jeanne Moldenhauer, Ed

The versatility of the BioLumix System – One system for all your microbial needs.

Why go to an automated system?

There has been a growing awareness over the years that utilizing the current methodology for determining microbial contamination is not cost effective due to the slow turnaround.  Internalizing the microbiology testing and especially adopting rapid microbiological methods (RMM’s) can speed up significantly the time to results from 7-10 days to 15-48 hours.  An automated detection system provides contamination information earlier than the conventional method, products can be released faster, manufacturing at risk is minimized, and investigations can be conducted and concluded closer to the time of the actual contamination.  The obvious benefit of an automated system is the quicker release of finished products, where the shorter ‘time to result’ may generate considerable cost savings. Some of the other advantages of RMM can include greater accuracy, better sensitivity, increased sample throughput, and automated data capture allowing easier data handling and paperless laboratory.

Why You Should Invest in the BioLumix System?

BioLumix SystemTime is money.  For a nominal investment in automation, the BioLumix Rapid Microbiology System will save valuable days in the QC process: optimize operations; increase throughput; and directly impact company profitability!  The BioLumix system allows for all of your microbiology needs to be met with one automated system.  It can be used to test Raw, In-process, and Finished Materials along with environmental and water samples.  The BioLumix system allows the user to test as frequently and as broadly as desired without significant cost or delays. The results are increased capacity along with cost reduction, improvement of logistics, and overall better efficiencies! With shorter sample preparation time and automated data entry, data archiving, report generation, and product release, the BioLumix system simplifies and automates your laboratory procedures. Tests can be also be performed by non-microbiologists, providing significant savings in laboratory labor.

Advantages of the BioLumix System

1)      All assays performed on a single system.  This allows laboratories to purchase one system but offer and perform many different tests, thus eliminating the problem of finding space for multiple systems in the lab and training personnel on multiple instruments.

a)      Microbial results can be generated in 24-48 hours in assays such as Total Aerobic Count, Yeast and Mold, Escherichia coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa while utilizing one system.  The system is unaffected by product interference and delivers accurate results. BioLumix is dedicated to producing affordable and easily performable assays that laboratories of all sizes can integrate into their daily work flow and yearly budget.

b)      BioLumix has improved the way microbiology can be performed in the cosmetic, toiletry and pharmaceutical industries.BioLumix has improved the way microbiology can be performed in the cosmetic, toiletry and pharmaceutical industries.  BioLumix offers the first automated PET and Microbial Limits system on a single platform, without any product interference! Preservative Efficacy Testing or Challenge Testing (USP<51>), Microbial Enumeration Testing (USP<61>), and Testing for Specified Microorganisms (USP<62>) can be easily performed without the hassle of preparing and counting multiple plates that would be expected using the standard methodology yielding faster results and being more cost effective.

c)      Environmental Monitoring.  In manufacturing facilities there is a need to demonstrate that the production equipment and environment are sufficiently clean so that the next production lot will not be contaminated by the material from the previous lot, removing the potential of cross contamination. One needs to prove with high degree of certainty that the cleaning process was effective. To do so an effective sampling plan needs to be established.  The BioLumix system can be utilized for rapid and simple monitoring of the manufacturing environment.

d)    Water Testing. Water is widely used as a raw material, ingredient, and a solvent in the processing, formulation, and manufacture of pharmaceutical products, active pharmaceutical ingredients and intermediates.Water Testing As such, all water purification systems must be monitored regularly to verify the quality of the water produced. Monitoring of water for microbiological quality may include testing for total heterotrophic plate count, coliforms/E. coli, or by checking for the presence of other organisms suspected to be present in a water sample. The relevant standards relating to pharmaceutical grade water are USP <1231> Water for Pharmaceutical purposes.

2)      Scarcity of skilled personnel: Microbiology laboratories face major challenges such as the growing scarcity of skilled laboratory workers and the burden of the ever-increasing workload.  The BioLumix system requires limited training to successfully set up the tests.  The system is fully automated including archiving of data, data maintenance and report generation, and it can be used to create a paperless laboratory.

3)      In house testing allows a laboratory to be more cost effective.  Increased turnaround time may be one of the most appealing features of an automated system.  Contamination can be caught quicker and actions can be taken immediately so that products can be released faster into the marketplace.

4)      The Validated BioLumix System.  Since June 25, 2010, all dietary supplement manufacturers have been required to comply with the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) current good manufacturing practices (cGMP’s) according to the guidance outlined in USP chapters <2021>, <2022>, and <2023>.  The BioLumix system has software that is 21 CFR Part 111 compliant and BioLumix generates a customized validation book for each of its customers that include:

a)      Installation qualification (IQ):  Identification and validation of the system components; validation of the environmental conditions; electrical requirements; computer qualification; verifying that all installation steps were followed; and documentation of instrument calibration.

b)     Operational qualification (OQ):  Verifying that the equipment is properly installed calibrated and is operational.  It includes a unique SOP for all products and assay combinations to be performed on the instrument; software characteristics and the verification that the software is 21 CFR part 11 compliant; verification that all the instrument functions operate as expected; Verification of the instrument temperature accuracy; and training records.

c)      Performance qualification (PQ): is the most extensive part of the BioLumix validation book. It shows equivalency with USP methodology when following USP <1223> “Validation of alternative microbiological methods”.

 

 

References:

1)       United States Pharmacopeia Chapter  <51> Antimicrobial Effectiveness Testing

2)       United States Pharmacopeia Chapter  <61> Microbiological Examination of Nonsterile Products:  Microbial Enumeration Tests

3)       United States Pharmacopeia Chapter  <62> Microbiological Examination of Nonsterile Products:  Tests for Specified Microorganisms

4)       United States Pharmacopeia Chapter <1231> Water for Pharmaceutical Purpose

5)       United States Pharmacopeia Chapter <2021> Microbial Enumeration Tests – Nutritional and Dietary Supplements

6)       United States Pharmacopeia Chapter <2022> Microbial Procedures for Absence of Specified Microorganisms – Nutritional and Dietary Supplements

7)       United States Pharmacopeia Chapter <2023> Microbial Attributes of Non-Sterile Nutritional and Dietary Supplements

8)       United States Pharmacopeia Chapter <1223> Validation of Alternative Microbiological Methods

PRESERVATIVE EFFICACY TESTING: GUIDELINES TO AN AUTOMATED SIMPLIFIED TESTING SYSTEM

Introduction

The ultimate purpose of the Preservative Efficacy Test (PET) is to determine the effectiveness of the preservative(s) present in a cosmetic, toiletry, or pharmaceutical product.  USP Chapter <51> ANTIMICROBIAL EFFECTIVENESS TESTING describes the type of products to be tested (categories), the specified microorganisms to be used for testing, and the inoculum and log reduction amounts required per category of product.  The product to be tested is inoculated with a high number of bacteria, yeast, and mold, and the reduction in the initial inoculum amount is calculated over a 28 day period.

Current Methodology

Until now, the only way to perform PET was by the plate count method.  Typically, a product is inoculated with a high number of organisms (usually 105 - 107), and after 7, 14, 21, and 28 days, samples of that inoculated product are tested to determine the log reduction that occurred to the organisms when subjected to the preservative system.  Because it is not known how effective the preservative system is, serial dilutions have to be plated to determine the number of organisms remaining in one gram of product.  As a result every organism require a number of plates, dilution bottles and tips as shown in figure 1.

Advantages of BioLumix Simplified Automated System

The main advantages the customer gains using BioLumix are savings on time, labor, and materialsPreservative Efficacy Test

The BioLumix assay (Figure 2) takes about 75% less hands-on labor as compared to the standard plate count method, and the simplicity of the BioLumix method is unparalleled.  Ease of use, less materials (as seen in comparing Fig1 to Fig2), and less dilution reduces the chance of error.  After inoculation of product with pure cultures, the BioLumix method allows the operator to perform testing in 4 easy steps:

  1. Weigh 1.0 gram of inoculated product to a sterile sample bag.
  2. Add 9.0 mL neutralizing broth and allow to sit for up to 45 minutes.
  3. Add 1.0 mL to the BioLumix vial.
  4. Enter the vial into the BioLumix Instrument and begin the automated testing.

Pre-programmed calibration curves as shown in Figure 3 are used to generate the colony forming unit count per gram of product based on the detection time of the curve.  This eliminates tedious counting of multiple plates and interpretation of results when working with thick or waxy products, or products containing materials that may resemble bacterial or yeast colonies.  The BioLumix method also saves time in obtaining results.  For each day of sampling, BioLumix reduces the time-to-results for bacteria from 48 hours to 24 hours and from 5-7 days for yeasts and mold to 48 hours.  The BioLumix system uses a single vial to replace a number of plates, dilution bottles and pipet tips, thereby reducing disposable costs.calibration curves

Example of Results Obtained

The example, show the results of PET obtained with eye drops with and without benzalkonium chloride.  The results obtained by both the BioLumix system (BL) and the plate count methodology are shown in the two table below.

results obtained by both the BioLumix system (BL) and the plate count methodology

results obtained by both the BioLumix system (BL) and the plate count methodologyThe data by both methods shows that in the product with the inhibitor benzalkonium chloride (Table1) after 7 days all bacteria are reduced by more than 5 log cycles, as are the counts of Candida. It took 14 days for Aspergillus to be reduced by 5 log cycles.

When the product did not contain benzalkonium chloride (Table 2) and as a result was not properly preserved, only P. aeruginosa was reduced by 5 logs after 7 days. E. coli took 14 days to reduce the numbers by 5 logs. The other organism had a very slow reduction over time.  The counts of Aspergillus were reduced by less that 2 log cycles.  The results show that the two methods yield very similar results.

Many other products were tested with the BioLumix PET methodology including scrubs, creams, lotions, Shampoos, hand and facial cleansers to name a few, and equivalency with the plate count methodology and reproducibility of results was demonstrated for all products.

The BioLumix system allows the operator to save time, materials, and money by drastically cutting hands-on labor and time-to-results.  If offers labor reduction by 75-80% of the labor required for the Petri dish method, with much less disposable used, faster time to results and good correlation with current methodology.  It allows for the creation of a paperless laboratory.  The system automation provides automated data achieving, and automated reporting including log reduction calculations.

BioLumix RMM platform featured in Latest Edition of NutraCos Journal

Introduction

The BioLumix platforms Rapid Microbiological Method (RMM) was recently featured in NutraCos journal for its ability to offer a multitude of unprecedented advantages to companies, as well as its versatility across various industries. NutraCos is an international journal that features articles on everything from nutraceuticals and probiotics, to regulations and policy.1 Given the rapidity of technological advancement, and the complex structural nature of the cosmetic, OTC and nutraceutical industries, many companies and individuals utilize NutraCos as a way to stay current with the latest developments throughout the world. In the journals January/April 2013 edition, our President, Dr. Ruth Eden, and Senior Research Microbiologist, Roger Brideau, explain the technology, as well as the benefits of the BioLumix automated microbial testing system to an international audience.2

 

Why Use Rapid Microbiological Methods?
Rapid microbiological methods are technologies that allow their users to get microbiological test results faster compared to traditional USP methodologies, which use plates and require a minimum of two to seven days in order to achieve complete results.  The BioLumix system can report results within hours, and all final results are available within 48 hours. This can dramatically impact key profit drivers by eliminating the wait for microbial results that can tie up working capital and often results in storage expenses and delays in supplying products to the market. Essentially, inventory stays on the floor instead of going out the door to the customer/patient population.  A shortening of the length of the manufacturing cycle means less required working capital investments, and simplifies rapid microbiology.

RMM Using BIOLUMIX
The systems three components consist of a modular instrument, disposable vials, and a 21 CFR Part 11 compliant computerized software package, the latter of which provides the user with an audit trail, operator identification, a data management system, and multiple customizable report formats. This process functions by continually monitoring the changes of a broth medium in which target organisms grow. The BioLumix system uses a CO2 sensor at the top of each disposable vial to detect released CO2, which is produced by all microorganisms, as well as reagents at the bottom of each vial, which measure changes in color/fluorescence of the broth medium by way of light intensity units in response to microbial metabolism.

 

The BioLumix system is extremely versatile and is capable of performing most microbiological assays tests, such as those for microbial content (microbial enumeration of total counts and yeast and molds), objectionable organisms, suitability testing and preservative efficacy testing.

A suitability test, to show usage of an adequate neutralizer inactivates the preservative in the product being tested. This demonstrates that if organisms are in fact present they will be able to grow and be detected. The suitability test can be performed very simply and quickly with the BioLumix system.

Testing of any cosmetic, pharmaceutical or personal care product should include a survey for contamination often referred to as testing for Microbial Content, which uses assays designed to measure the growth of bacteria, yeasts and molds to flag products for the presence of contaminants.3, 4 For most cosmeceutical products, regulations state that total aerobic count should be <100 cfu/g, and that yeast and mold counts should be <10 cfu/g. The workflow of the testing of a personal care sample for the presence of microbial contamination is very simple and requires a fraction of the time and labor needed to perform the same tests using the USP methodology.  Each product can also be assayed specifically for the detection of E coli, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Salmonella species.

Upon determination that a product has been properly neutralized and has very low levels of contamination, the user can conduct a Preservative Efficacy Test (PET), sometimes referred to as the Antimicrobial Efficacy Tests. This test is required for all cosmetic and personal care products in the United States and follows the guidelines set forth by USP 51.5 Briefly put, the product must be challenged within individual containers, each going through this process separately using one of the five required organisms, which include ATCC established strains of E. coli, S. aureus, P. auruginosa, C. albicans, and A. brasiliensis. The PET assay measures the reduction of a high inoculum (106-107 cfu/g) in the presence of a product containing preservative over 28 days, which also tests the ability of the preservative to prevent a rebound of an organism (regrowth). After these tests the BioLumix software produces a certificate of analysis with a succinct report of the microbiological properties of each product for use at your convenience. This equates to proactive detection of contaminated products, and ensures that minimal resources are spent on production and subsequent recall of said products if they are found to be contaminated.

Conclusion

The BioLumix Rapid Microbiology System can save multiple days of time to reach the assay endpoint versus traditional plate methods.  This time saving could dramatically impact key profit drivers, such as elimination of idle time with raw materials, work in progress, and speed to finished goods. Faster detection of microbial contamination also results in faster corrective action in the event that material is above the targeted specification level. Earlier awareness of contamination problems in production runs can result in less production of defective final finished goods. By significantly decreasing the manufacturing cycle, one can lower their required working capital investment.

The BioLumix instrument is a straightforward and easy to use system that allows for rapid and accurate results.  The system is fully automated including data archiving, data maintenance, and report generation. It is paperless and efficient; saving on disposables, time and space. In short, BioLumix streamlines microbiological testing, delivering a simpler, faster, and automated solution saving your company significant time, labor and money.

To read the whole article complete with direct comparison tables and figures, visit our scientific presentations page. (http://www.mybiolumix.com/scientific-presentations/)

 

References

  1. Lee, C. “NutraCos,” Vitafoods Europe. London, UK: Informa Exhibitions, 2013.
  2. Mori, F. L. “NutraCos,” Via M. Donati 6. Milano, Italy: B5 s.r.l., 2013.
  3. United States Pharmacopeia, Chapter <61>, 2009.
  4. United States Pharmacopeia, Chapter <62>, 2009.
  5. Moser, C.L.; Meyer B.K. AAPS PharmSciTech. 2009, 12 (1), 222-6

Biolumix Automation Drives Profits

BioLumix Automation Drives Profits!

No longer look at micro testing of raw materials and finished products as a “necessary evil” in remaining cGMP compliant.   Rather, with BioLumix Rapid, Automated Microbiology, you can view microbiology product testing as a position of company strength and competitive advantage!

TIME IS MONEY. . .  we have detailed financial models prepared by our current customers that demonstrate the dramatic impact BioLumix is having when you apply Multiple Days Saved to real profit drivers, such as:  

Biolumix System

  •   Savings as a result of early detection of contamination
  •   Lower cost of inventory
  •   Increase capacity of existing factory and lab
  •   Reduce cost of storage
  •   Lower cost of test related overhead
  •   Savings on cost of capital
  •   Potential improvement in account receivables. . .  all of which directly impact profits!

Automation Drives Profits
The enacted cGMP regulations require manufacturers to ensure that products are free of contamination by objectionable organisms, and that appropriate microbiological testing is conducted.

BioLumix Rapid Microbiology offers a high degree of automation, significant reduction in time to results, reduced staff involvement, and faster product release. . .  all which impact key “operational profit drivers,” such as:

  • Savings as a result of early detection of contamination
  • Lower cost of inventory
  • Increase capacity of existing factory and lab
  • Reduce cost of storage
  • Lower cost of test related overhead
  • Savings on cost of capital
  • Potential improvement in account receivables

 

Contact Us TODAY To Learn More About Our FREE DEMO PROGRAM!

Pseudomonads and Their Rapid Detection

Description of Pseudomonad Organisms

Pseudomonas bacteria (Pseudomonads) encompass gram negative, motile, non-fermenting rods. This genus is ubiquitous in nature and these organisms can impact a number of environments and patient populations. The Pseudomonads may be found in soil, on plant material, in water, and can be isolated from various tissues and body fluids from mammals. In human health, some of these organisms, primarily Pseudomonas aeruginosa, can be an opportunist pathogen and cause serious health problems. If allowed to reach unsafe levels, this organism may cause several health problems including skin rash and other skin infections, ear infection, urinary tract infection, and in rare instances, pneumonia. Other Pseudomonads, for example, P. stutzeri can be isolated from wounds but are generally not associated with human disease. Many Pseudomonads found in the soil can damage plant materials by causing spoilage.

Who tests for Pseudomonas and why?

Water Testing: Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a bacterium commonly found in purified water systems. Pseudomonas grows in water. It thrives at warm temperatures, which is why it is so often associated with spas. It can also grow in purified water systems.

Pharmaceutical and Cosmetic Products: Analysis of FDA product recall data for 134 non-sterile pharmaceutical products from 1998 to September 2006 demonstrated that 48% of recalls were due to contamination by either Burkholderia cepacia, or Pseudomonas spp (Jimenez L. 2007). In cosmetic products, P. aeruginosa was recovered from contaminated mascara material and was identified as the agent responsible for corneal ulcers in the 1970s (Ortho 2009). Pseudomonads can survive and grow in DI water—Contaminated DI water may be the source of microbial contamination if it is used for the final rinse of equipment that has been cleaned and sanitized, and it may be the source of contamination for finished products in these industries.

Dairy and Food: The predominant microorganisms limiting the shelf life of processed fluid milk at 4°C are Pseudomonas spp. these species are able to grow to high numbers during refrigerated storage. Pseudomonas species accounted for79% of the psychotropic isolates that spoiled pasteurized milk (Dogan and Boor 2003). Important characteristics of Pseudomonads include their abilities to grow at low temperatures (3–7?C) and to hydrolyze and use large molecules of proteins and lipids for growth.

Biolumix Offers Two Options for Detecting Pseudomonads

For certain industries it is important to detect Pseudomonas aeruginosa, while for others it is important to detect all Pseudomonas spp, including the closely related Burkholderia cepacia. As a result BioLumix offers two different types of vials: the PSE vial for the detection of P. aeruginosa; and the PSB vial for the detection of all strains of Pseudomonas and for B. cepacia.

Detection of Pseudomonas aeruginosa (PSE Vial)

For the Pharma (OTC), Cosmetic and Nutraceutical Industries the primary cause for concern is the absence or presence of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. P. aeruginosa is common and is able to become an opportunistic pathogen in people and may cause severe disease (Hugh and Gilardi 1974). The ability to detect P. aeruginosa is critical in the non sterile Pharmaceutical products, Cosmetic and Nutraceutical Industries to ensure the product material is safe. BioLumix offers a highly selective media in the form of a test vial (PSE) that primarily only allows for the growth of Pseudomonas aeruginosa organisms. Confirmation of the presence of this organism is accomplished using the simple Oxidase reaction on vial contents. The test sample is merely enriched in TSB (Tryptic Soy Broth) per USP instructions and then tested directly in the BioLumix PSE vial. Other common Pseudomonads and closely related organisms, including B. cepacia and P putida, as examples, are excluded from growth due to the use of antibiotic supplements in the BioLumix PSE vial. P. aeruginosa is typically more antibiotic resistant than other Pseudomonas organisms (Blazevic, DL et al 1973). Figure 1 illustrates the growth curve of Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027 in the BioLumix PSE vial.

KEY:Dark Blue Curve- P. aeruginosa Green Curve- Negative Control

Detection of other Pseudomonads (PSB Vial)

For many industries including the dairy industry and manufacturers using water, there is a need to test for all Pseudomonads as they impact these industries economically. Other Pseudomonads may include P. fluorescens, P. putida, and P. stutzeri. Burkholderia cepacia, can also be detected using the BioLumix PSE-B vial. Specific to the use of water in manufacturing: Pseudomonas bacteria can be found naturally in the ground and within drinking water sources such as aquifers. Contamination of either dairy products or water systems by Pseudomonads is something to avoid and early detection of goods using a rapid microbiological detection system such as the BioLumix Instrument System, would offer an advantage to the manufacturer. Figure 2 illustrates the growth of many types of Pseudomonads and Burkholderia cepacia in the BioLumix PSE-B vial.

KEY: Dark Blue Curve- B. cepacia; Green Curve -P aeruginosa; Light Blue Curve – P. putida; and Red Curve– P. fluorescens growth

REFERENCES

Blazevic, DJ, Koecke, M.H., and Mastsen J.M. (1973). Incidence and identification of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Pseudomonas putida in the clinical laboratory. Applied Microbiology 25: (1)

Dogan, B. and Boor, K J. (2003). Genetic diversity and spoilage potentials among Pseudomonas ssp. isolated from fluid milk products and dairy processing plants. Appl. Microbiol.,69: 130-138.

Hugh, R. and Gilardi, G. (1974) In “Manual of Clinical Microbiology” Edited by Spaulding, Lennette, Spaulding and Truant. Chapter 23 Pseudomonas.

Jimenez L.(2007). Microbial diversity in pharmaceutical product recalls and environments. Review. PDA J Pharm Sci Technol. 2007 Sep-Oct;61(5):383-99.

Ortho D. (2009). Insight into Cosmetic Microbiology, Chapter 8 263-267

BioLumix Microbial Limit Vial (MC)

Introduction:

The Microbial Limit vial is used to test primarily Personal Care, Cosmetic and over the counter Pharmaceutical (OTC) products for microbial content (contamination). Each of these types of products may have preservatives in their composition and the Microbial Limit vial helps to neutralize the inhibition of microbial growth that many preservatives provide. Neutralization of the preservative allows for a proper evaluation of whetheror not the product has contaminants. Often the contaminating bacteria in the product while in the presence of the preservative remain “injured” and unable to replicate. Thelack of replication might be interpreted as the lack of contamination.

How It Works

The Microbial Limit vial’s sensor detects production of CO2 by microorganisms, based upon the principle that CO2 is a universal metabolite produced by all microorganisms. The disposable vial contains a transparent solid sensor located at the bottom which changes its optical properties whenever CO2 diffuses into it. Only gases can penetrate the sensor; blocking liquids, microorganisms, and particulate matter. Consequently, the optical readings are not masked by the sample. CO2 generated by bacterial metabolism in the liquid medium diffuses into the sensor and interacts with an indicator reagent to provide an indication of the presence of the carbon dioxide.

Applications:

The Microbial Limit vial is used to test primarily Personal Care, Cosmetic and over the counter Pharmaceutical (OTC) products for microbial content (contamination). Each of these types of products may have preservatives in their composition and the Microbial Limit vial helps to neutralize the inhibition of microbial growth that many preservatives provide. Neutralization of the preservative allows for a proper evaluation of whether or not the product has contaminants. Often the contaminating bacteria in the product while in the presence of the preservative remain “injured” and unable to replicate. The lack of replication might be interpreted as the lack of contamination.

The first step of the assay is to perform a 1:10 dilution of the product in neutralizing broth such as D/E (Dey/Engley) broth, Letheen Broth, or TAT (Tryptone-Azolectin-Tween) Broth. There after 1.0-0.1 ml of the sample is added to the Microbial Limit vial. The Microbial Limit vial contains the neutralizers that inhibit many common preservatives and this neutralization event helps the customer to correctly measure the presence of contaminating organisms.

Examples of Growth Curves Using the Microbial Limit Vial:

In the curves shown below in the Figure, there is an example of both a positive curve and a negative curve. The bacterium used was Pseudomonas aeruginosa.

The BioLumix Microbial Limit vial was specifically designed to be used in complying with USP. Due to the fact the Microbial Limit vial has both Lecithin and Tween in its media composition helps allow for neutralization of the preservative in the sample to be maintained during the assay for viable organisms. Thus, this vial is useful to the customer that has already determined the amount of neutralizing buffer and its content of neutralizer to be used when the product sample is first prepared in diluent. Together the use of the correct neutralizer and the use of the BioLumix Microbial Limit vial helps ensure an accurate assay for the replicating organisms.

Table 1 summarizes the types of Products that customers test in the BioLumix Microbial Limit vial to measure the presence of organisms.

Summary:

The versatility of the BioLumix Microbial Limit vial includes the ability to support growth of most aerobic bacteria, many yeast and some mold organisms. In most cases YMC vial is used for the detection of yeast and molds. The BioLumix Microbial Limit vial can be used for determination of microbial content (contamination), for use in suitability studies that test whether a product can support growth of microorganisms, and in Preservative Efficacy Studies (PET analysis) that is used for cosmetic products. The BioLumix Microbial Limit vial can also be used by customers whose products include Dietary Supplements and Nutraceutical products for which preservatives (natural or chemical) are also added. Supplement products with natural preservatives also need to be neutralized and tested for their ability to support microbial growth.

Microbiological testing of OILS

Edible oils are an important part of the dietary supplement industry. Oils are also used extensively in cosmetics and of course, hydrocarbon based oils, are used in heavy machinery.

Oil is any substance that is liquid at ambient temperatures and does not mix with water but may mix with other oils and organic solvents. This general definition includes plant (vegetable) oils, fish or animal derived oils, volatile essential oils, petrochemical oils, and synthetic oils. Plant derived oils are used frequently in the Dietary Supplement industry and may include examples such as Flax and Sunflower oils. Fish derived oils may include the infamous Cod Liver Oil and Krill (omega 3) oils. Essential oils are generally aromatic oils and are extracted by distillation. They are used in perfumes, cosmetics, soaps and other personal care products, and occasionally for flavoring food and drink. Petrochemical oils include crude oils as an example and are naturally occurring, flammable liquids consisting of a complex mixture of hydrocarbons of various molecular weights, and other liquid organic compounds. Synthetic oils are lubricants consisting of chemical compounds that are artificially made (synthesized). Many are very similar in function to hydrocarbon based motor oils.

Plant and fish-derived oil based products are common in the dietary supplement industry and are most commonly tested in the form of liquids, soft-gels, and capsules. Cosmetic oil based-products may be in the form of creams, lotions, washes, to name a few. Oils used in products for the dietary supplement industry and in cosmetics will require testing for the presence of microorganisms.

Problems Associated with Microbial Testing of Oils


Oils can be difficult to handle due to their hydrophobic composition. An example of an oil micelle (oil present in aqueous solutions) is represented in the cartoon shown in Figure 1.

For sampling of oils for the presence of microorganisms (microbial content), it is generally necessary to first dilute the oil material 1/10 into an aqueous buffer. The material can then be mixed thoroughly (mechanically or by hand) followed by a series of decimal dilutions. Due to the lack of mixing of oil and water it is difficult to remove the organisms from micelles and transfer them to the diluent prior to making the decimal dilution and to disperse them evenly in the agar medium, all steps required for the plate count method.

The BioLumix Advantage

The BioLumix system is based upon detection of color or fluorescence variations due to microbial metabolism in liquid medium within a novel two-zone test vial. An optical sensor monitors changes in color and fluorescence within the vial’s reading zone, which is physically separated from the incubation zone. This two-zone approach prevents masking of the optical pathway by product or microbial turbidity and therefore, eliminates product interference. Separate test vials are also used to automatically detect the presence of viable microorganisms and/or to estimate the concentration of viable counts by monitoring changes in CO2 production during cellular growth.

For the BioLumix assay, oil materials diluted into TSB (1/10) and can either be used directly or pre-enriched overnight to gain sensitivity. The diluted sample is added into BioLumix vials containing broth media. A variety of vials are available to conduct any necessary assay. After the inoculation of the vials, they are inserted into the instrument that serves as an incubator and a reader. The inoculated vials are analyzed every 6 minutes and the end results are reported in an automated certificate of analysis. Most assays are completed overnight and all the results are available in 48 hours.

Results Obtained Using The BioLumix System

Table 1 includes examples of oil-containing products successfully tested using the BioLumix method including plant derived, fish derived, cosmetic oils, essential oils, industrial and synthetic oils.

TABLE 1- Types of oil tested

Plant Derived Fish Oil Cosmetic/Essential Oils Industrial/Synthetic
Flax Krill Oil Facial soaps/lotions Motor Oil
Safflower Cod Liver Oil Body (massage) VITE (dl-alpha-tocopherol)
Sunflower Omega 3 Oil Suppositories
Soybean Vitamin E Lotions
Sesame Primrose Oil

Figure 2

The clean product yields a flat curve whereas products that contain bacteria show an increase in the optical curves allowing the system to detect the presence of the microorganisms.

Similar results were obtained with motor oil (Figure 3).

The data indicates that the system works very well in distinguishing between contaminated and clean samples. It can be also used to determine the level of contamination.

High precision or repeatability was obtained for all samples tested. The BioLumix system can be used to detect the presence or absence of organisms. Assays include Total Aerobic Count, Yeast and Mold, Enterobacterial count and absence of objectionable organisms in 10 grams of product, such as E. coli, S. aureus, and Salmonella. The system is designed to speed up product release and simplify the microbiological testing of oil containing products, generating an automated certificate of analysis for all assays in 48 hours.

A Novel Rapid Automated Method for Suitability Testing

Suitability Testing by USP Methodology

Suitability testing is performed in order to verify that the method utilized eliminates the effect of any
antimicrobial properties of the product. Therefore, the media diluent combination does not inhibit the
recovery and growth of microorganisms, if present in the sample. The goal of the suitability testing is to
establish the ability of the test to detect microorganisms in the presence of product.

The suitability described in USP <61> verifies the
validity of the testing method by showing the
recovery of microorganisms in presence of the
product. Total Aerobic Microbial Count and Total
combined Yeast and Mold can be carried out by
membrane filtration, pour plating or spread plate
method.

Suitability using USP <62> can use selective media to
detect various organisms such as: Staphylococcus
aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Escherichia coli,
bile-tolerant gram-negative bacteria, Clostridia,
Salmonella and Candida albicans. The samples are
first enriched by incubating in Trypticase Soy Broth
(TSB) or another appropriate neutralizing media, and then streaked onto selective agars for the
determination of presence of specified or the objectionable microorganisms.

The new USP <61> and USP <62> tests also provide harmonization to existing European Pharmacopeia
methods for testing non-sterile pharmaceutical products. Additional in order to verify the testing
conditions, a negative control is performed using the chosen diluent that shows no growth of
the microorganisms. While conducting the suitability testing precautions must be taken to avoid
contamination so they do not affect the microorganisms that are being tested. The procedure involves
the inoculation of the neutralized sample with low (not more than 100 cfu) and detecting the organisms
by the prescribed method.

Even though USP uses traditional microbiology methods, from the USP <61> and <62> states
that “Alternative microbiological procedures, including automated methods, may be used, provided that their equivalence to the Pharmacopeial method has been demonstrated” and “any validated method,
including, Rapid Methods can be used”.

The New BioLumix Method

A study was recently conducted to show the utilization of BioLumix system (see figure below) in
suitability tests using a variety of products from both the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries.

Sampling was conducted by taking ten gram of the product
and placing it into 90ml of M Letheen broth (or another
appropriate neutralizing broth) for a final dilution of 1/10.
An overnight culture of the target organism was diluted to
not exceed 100 cfu and the inoculum not exceeds 1% of the
volume of the diluted product. Then 1.0 mL of the
neutralized sample containing organism was placed into the
appropriate vial and a side by side comparison was done
with the appropriate USP method.

The products tested included Aloe, Hand Sanitizer, Lip Balm, Flavored Lip Balm, Medicated Lip Balm,
Breath Spray, Medicated ointment, and Sun Screen. A variety of different types of each product were
tested.

32 product samples were tested for suitability. Four bacteria (Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538;
Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 9027; Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633 and Escherichia coli ATCC 8739; a
yeast (Candida albicans ATCC 10231), and a mold (Aspergillus niger ATCC 16404) were used to show the
effectiveness of the neutralization step. Thirty one
products were properly neutralized by the M Letheen
Broth as evidenced by detection time in the vials and
colonies on the plates. Only one product tested contained
a high level of ethanol, which required a 1:100 dilution in
M Letheen Broth to obtain neutralization. There was 100%
correlation between the two methods.

Typical data obtained by the system is shown in the figure:

The product was inoculated with ~ 100 cfu/g of three organisms: Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 6538 (light blue); Bacillus subtilis ATCC 6633 (Dark blue) and Escherichia coli ATCC 8739 (green). The Detection times obtained (shown as triangles on the curves) are comparable to data obtained without product.

What are the advantages of the BioLumix system?

Time Saving: The results are available much faster, for example, the results of the Yeast and Mold vialsoccurred in less than 48 hours, while the Aspergillus took nearly five days for countable colonies. All
products tested with bacteria using the automated BioLumix assay yielded results typically 10-13 hours,
instead of 48 hours for the plate count methodology. The advantage is that you can see results an
entire day early if the product is exhibiting any sort of inhibition. Data generation is slower using classic
microbiology so it can also slow down production improvements as well.
Labor Saving: The setup of the assay can be done much faster using the BioLumix system as opposed
to traditional plating methods, saving significant hands-on labor due to its automation and simplicity of
use. BioLumix can make the microbiological testing simpler, faster, and automated- saving significant
time and labor. It is paperless, increasing efficiency and saving on disposables, time and space, and best
of all the system is unaffected by product interference. The System is extremely easy to operate, with
its straightforward, streamlined testing design it offers accurate results leading to reduced material-
holding time for faster product release.

High Correlation with USP: The BioLumix System showed a high correlation between the instrument
results and the USP methodology. The system is fully automated with automated data archiving,
data maintenance in databases, and automated report generation. Regulators encourage rapid
microbiology methods for improved process control and product release. The BioLumix system
is validated as being at least equivalent to the compendial method. Under general notices of the
USP states that “Automated procedures employing the same basic chemistry as those assay and
test procedures given in the monograph are recognized as being equivalent in their suitability for
determining compliance.”

References:

USP <61> MICROBIOLOGICAL EXAMINATION OF NONSTERILE PRODUCTS: MICROBIAL ENUMERATION TESTS

USP <62>: MICROBIOLOGICAL EXAMINATION OF NONSTERILE PRODUCTS: TEST FOR SPECIFICIED
MICROORGANISMS

Rapid Yeast and Mold Testing yielding Results in 48 hours

Why test for Yeast and Molds?

Molds are agents which can be responsible for the contamination and spoilage of a variety of products. Some molds develop mycotoxins which diffuse into the product and may, if present in sufficient quantity, cause acute or chronic poisoning. The presence of yeasts may produce changes affecting product quality and salability, leading to significant financial implications for food producers.

Both yeast and mold can cause various degrees of deterioration and decomposition of products such as cosmetics, and foods. Products containing yeast and mold cells do not usually cause human illness, but high levels of these organisms can cause products to look, smell, or taste bad. This not only diminishes the appeal of the product and brand, but can also result in substantial economic losses to the producer, processor and consumer.

Yeasts are facultative anaerobe, mono-cellular fungi, fermenting sugar substrate to CO2 and H2O. Under anaerobic conditions yeasts ferment sugar to alcohol and CO2. The term “mold” is commonly used for the visible part of the fungi present on the surface of contaminated products. Fungal spoilage of food remains a serious problem, one that has been estimated to account for between 5% and 10% of all losses in global food production.

Plate Count Method for Yeast and Molds

Most industrial products are required to be tested for yeast and mold. The pate count methodology for testing yeast and molds are described in various reference publications, including Foods (Bacteriological Analytical Manual, 8th Edition, 1998. Chapter 18); Cosmetic and non-sterile Pharmaceutical products (USP) and Nutritional and Dietary supplement products (USP).

The methods involve mixing the sample with a diluent followed by decimal dilutions and the addition of the diluted sample into duplicate Petri dishes, the addition of selective culture media (such as Potato Dextrose Agar, Sabouraud Dextrose Agar). The plates are incubated for 5-7 days at 20-250C, after which plates with 25-250 colonies are counted. Due to the ability of some molds to spread rapidly on the plates, the interpretation of conventional colony counts can be difficult, requiring considerable staff input. Automated methods can help reduce the possibility of human error and free up skilled technicians for other tasks.

BioLumix Rapid Simplified Assay

Principle of Operation

The BioLumix Yeast and mold vial (YM) includes a CO2 Sensor. Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a universal metabolite produced by all microorganisms. For yeast and molds, the Krebs cycle is part of a metabolic pathway involved in the chemical conversion of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into CO2, water and energy, and as a result all aerobic organisms generate CO2. The sensor is located at the bottom of the vial. The sensor vial contains a transparent solid sensor that changes color whenever CO2 diffuses into it. The color of the sensor is dark in sterile vials. As microorganisms grow the sensor turns yellow, indicating CO2 production and metabolic growth.

A crucial element of the technology is the creation of two zones in each vial:

  • An incubation zone (upper part) for the sample and microorganisms. This zone tends to contain product debris and turbidity due to microbial growth. A reading zone (bottom part) that remains optically clear.
  • This two-zone vial eliminates interference of the optical pathway by the product and microbial turbidity. Since changes of color are monitored in the reading zone, results are not influenced by the presence of the sample or the growing microorganisms. Only gases can penetrate into the sensor that blocks liquids, microorganisms and particulate matter. The user introduces the sample by simply opening the screw cap and dropping the sample into the incubation zone.

Typical Results

The typical procedure involves the addition of the sample to a diluent followed by the addition of the sample to the ready-to-use vial. The vials are introduced into the BioLumix instrument and the rest of the operation is fully automated, including report generation.

Variety of yeast and molds where tested with the YM vial. High numbers of yeast can detect in a few hours where as single numbers detect normally in 30 hours. Mold grow a little slower, while high numbers can detect in 6-8 hours, low numbers might take up to 48 hours to detect.

variety of products were tested for yeast and molds including: Nutraceutical and Dietary supplements (multi vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, Psyllium, Spirulina, fish oil, and numerous other supplements); Over-the-Counter Pharmaceutical (soft and liquid capsules, cold remedies, vitamins and minerals, eye care products, oral hygiene products, laxatives, antacids, pain relives, to name a few); Cosmetics and toiletry products ( hand cream, Aloe concentrate, hair dye, shampoos and conditioners, tooth pastes and rinses, soaps, mascara, lipstick, foundation, and many more); Foods (cheese, yogurt, ice-cream, salad dressing, fruit pulp, etc.)

Advantages

The first noticeable advantage is that BioLumix provides results in 48 hours, compared to traditional methods, which take 5-7 days. The rapid results provided enables manufacturers to release their products into the supply chain much earlier than when testing with traditional methods.

BioLumix can make the microbiological testing simpler, faster, and automated- saving significant time, labor and money. The YM vial accelerates product release with a simplified, automated approach. This yields fast, accurate results while reducing costs.

  • Vial design prevents product interference
  • Automation and connectivity allows faster product release
  • Real-time communication for immediate action
  • Expedite results: Yeast and mold assay in 48 hours
  • Early warning of contaminated samples
  • No decimal dilutions required- direct sample introduction to vials
  • Automated data archiving and audit trail
  • Streamline testing increases laboratory efficiencies
  • 21 CFR Part 11 Compliant Software
  • Paperless laboratory: centralized test date automatically stored and protected
  • Barcode capability for automated sample entry
  • Environmental made easy

Simple, Automated Preservative Test and Microbial Limits Test to be Presented at Cosmetic Science Symposium & Expo

Marriott Newark International Hotel October 26th

Come and see how BioLumix can improve the way of conducting microbiology testing of cosmetic products. We would like to invite you to check out the newest innovative technology for Microbial Limits and Preservative Efficacy Testing (PET). Thanks to the growing BioLumix customer base, we are rapidly becoming a recognizable solution to today’s fast-pace microbial requirements in the Cosmetics
Industry.

BioLumix now offers the first automated PET and Microbial Limits system on a single platform, without any product interference! We have developed a Rapid Microbiological Method that has been validated according to FDA requirements*. The validated BioLumix system is an alternative to the classic USP methodology. It is a streamlined testing system which is far less labor intensive and requires less skilled technical personnel to operate. Saving up to 75% in PET labor, it will also significantly reduce consumables and testing bench-top space.

The BioLumix Optical Technology is based on continuously monitoring changes of color / fluorescence as a result of the microbial metabolism in test vials. The results are presented as soon as detections occur without any involvement from an operator. The technology utilizes a CO2 sensor that is a universal detector of aerobic bacteria and yeast & mold metabolism (Remember the Kreb’s cycle? Part of this metabolic pathway involves the conversion of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into water, CO2 and energy).

The PET procedure utilized allows for an easy estimate of the initial inoculum with a single ready-to-use vial that can replace multiple plates. After the product interaction with inoculated product, the system automatically calculates if the appropriate reduction in numbers of organisms was achieved.

The system is fully automated including: data archiving, data maintenance in databases, and automatic report generation. Create a paperless laboratory with centralized test data automatically stored and protected, and software that is 21 CFR Part 11 compliant. Increase efficiency and savings on disposables (no need for decimal dilutions), time and space, and best of all the system is unaffected by product interference. BioLumix streamlines microbiological testing delivering a simpler, faster, and automated solution saving your company significant time, labor and money.

BioLumix offers a comprehensive range of tests for raw ingredients and finished products, as well as processing water and environmental testing.

Cosmetic Science Symposium & Expo

The Science Symposium is organized by the Personal Care Product council and attracts more than 300 industry leaders and decision-makers while offering the personal care products industry staff one-stop shopping for information about Microbiology, Quality Assurance, Safety, and Environmental.

Free Product Trial

Give us your most difficult samples and we will test them for free. We will provide you with a detailed
report which includes a side-by-side comparison to USP methodology to the BioLumix method. The data
generated is strictly confidential and is only used to help validate the system for your company should
you decide to purchase.

We look forward to working with you and earning another satisfied customer! Please call us at 734.983.3100

*The BioLumix System has been validated against USP chapters <61> and <62>, using USP <1223> as the guideline for validation. It has not been validated for PET.

Fast, Reliable Preservative Efficacy Test and Microbial Detection for Cosmetics

Microbial contamination of cosmetic products is important to the industry and can be a cause of both product and economic losses. The water and nutrients present in the product can make them susceptible to microbial growth; although, only a few cases of human injury due to contaminated cosmetic products have been ever reported. More often, microorganisms are the cause of alterations in product appearance and smell; such as changes in viscosity and color or offensive odors.

The Challenge of Cosmetic microbiologists stretches beyond providing clean consumer products to be sold in stores, they need to provide safe products which will be reused following subsequent consumer self contamination.  Every time a brush, a sponge, a hand or other cosmetic applicator is wiped from one’s self and reintroduced to the product, microorganisms (which exist on everyone’s skin, eye lashes, lips, etc) are being transferred into the product. Cosmetic microbiologists need to develop product preservative formulations which are capable killing these newly introduced microorganisms before they multiply to harmful levels.  The demand to develop consumer friendly as well as environmentally friendly formulations that are less conspicuous to consumers and still protected against microbial contamination is greater then ever.  

To assure that the cosmetic products are going to be safe even after re-contamination by the user a “Preservative Efficacy Test” (PET) or “Challenge Test” is performed. The PET is performed by artificially and heavily contaminating a product with representative microorganisms. After defined periods of time, a specifically defined reduction in the microbial populations must take place.  The current plate count method requires numerous dilutions, sample plating, incubating, not to mention a great deal of plate handling and reading, along with tedious manual data transcription.

Resent trends in this field not only include research for fast, reliable alternative methods to detect microbial contamination, they include efforts to automate Preservative Efficacy Testing. To date there has not been an effective automated method developed for the Preservative Efficacy Test (PET).    

The BioLumix Alternative

BioLumix now offers an automated solution for both PET and microbial contamination on a single platform saving labor and consumables while reducing time to results.

The BioLumix Optical Technology is based on continuously monitoring changes of color / fluorescence as a result of the microbial metabolism in test vials. The results are presented as soon as detections occur without any involvement from an operator.  The technology utilizes a CO2 sensor that is a universal detector of aerobic bacteria, yeast and mold metabolism (Remember the Kreb’s cycle? Part of this metabolic pathway involves the conversion of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins into water, CO2 and energy).   

The procedure utilized allows for an easy estimate of the initial inoculum with a single ready-to-use vial that can replace multiple plates.  After the product interaction with inoculated product the system automatically calculates if the appropriate reduction in numbers of organisms was achieved.

The system is fully automated with automated data archiving, data maintenance in databases, and automated report generation.  It is paperless, increasing efficiency and saving on disposables, time and space, and best of all the system is unaffected by product interference.  Please call us for a free product trial.

Kevin LaBrecque