Visit Neogen at IAFP — Booth #544

By Joe Heinzelmann

The International Association of Food Protection’s (IAPF) annual meeting is taking place this year from Saturday, July 25th — Tuesday, July 28th. The event features leaders from the food safety industry and hosts a wide variety of presentations, workshops and professional development groups.

Neogen will be in attendance at booth #544, showcasing a number of new products including Reveal 3D for Multi Treenut, innovations for ANSR—a molecular pathogen detection platform—and AccuPoint Advance, the latest innovation in hygiene monitoring, By visiting Neogen’s booth you’ll be able to see how the new design of our AccuPoint Advance sampler allows for better recovery, and more accurate results.

Also, if you haven’t picked up a copy of Neogen’s Food Allergen Validation and Verification Handbook, please stop by our booth to do so. This handbook provides guidelines, best practices and sound strategies for validation of allergen control plans, and the routine verification.

In addition, IAFP offers a wide range of educational opportunities. Some of the presentations covered in the meeting can be seen in the schedule overview and include recurring themes in genomics and process control. For example, the new Food Safety Modernization Act and the focus on preventive controls will be covered along with genomic sessions that cover identification methods, whole genome sequencing, next generation sequencing and more.

Examples of these talks include:

We look forward to seeing you at IAFP. If you will be at the event, please register for a time to speak with us here. See you in Portland!

For more information on the conference, click here.

Join Neogen at Ingredient Marketplace 2015

By Joe Heinzelmann

Join Neogen at booth #528 from April 7th – 9th for Ingredient Marketplace 2015 at the Orlando World Center Marriott.

Ingredient Marketplace brings together experts in the community of nutrition,
health, food and beauty products and provides opportunities for networking, purchasing and business development. Additional insights from educational programs include global insights, and categorical trends.

Neogen is a world leader in food safety, and excited to showcase new solutions to facilitate cGMPs, quality assurance programs, and verification systems at Ingredient Marketplace. Neogen will be presenting new, key products that have been validated specifically for nutritional, health food, beauty and other related products and include the BioLumix System, allergen control tests and plans, as well as hygiene monitoring equipment.

The BioLumix Rapid Microbiology System saves time, reduces staff involvement, and leads to faster product release. The validated BioLumix system also allows for easy compliance with cGMP, streamlining your microbiological testing and once again saving you time, labor and money. BioLumix delivers shorter sample preparation, automated real-time communication, fast product release and early warning of contamination. The system is also paperless and efficient, saving on disposables, time and space, while eliminating product interference, and delivering accurate results.

The BioLumix system is also fully automated, validated against USP
methodology
and supports 21 CFR Part 11 Compliant. The system delivers complete microbiology testing results within 24-48 hours, allowing for faster product release time and shorter sample prep time.

In addition, Neogen’s allergen testing solutions help companies put together best practices for allergen control. Neogen’s industry supported Supplier verification document starts with raw materials. Using testing and best practices, companies can have confidence that ingredients, sanitation teams and their products all comply with allergen label claims.

Please also visit Neogen at booth #528 to hear more about AccuPoint Advanced, Neogen’s newest and most complete hygiene monitoring system and to see a demonstration as to why the AccuPoint Advance is the right tool for the job.

Accelerating the detection of yeast and mold in yogurt

By Jennifer Johnson

What was once an obscure foreign dairy product, Greek yogurt has exploded into a billion dollar business, and it is still growing!  Greek yogurt sales are 50% higher than at this time last year and represent more than one-third of all yogurt sold in the U.S. By comparison, in 2007 Greek yogurt accounted for only 1% of the total yogurt market.

As with regular yogurt, Greek yogurt is made from fermented milk that is soured and thickened by adding specific lactic acid-producing cultures. However, Greek yogurt is strained more times than traditional yogurt to remove more whey. As a result, Greek yogurt is thicker and has more protein than regular yogurt. The basic cultures or probiotics used to make yogurt are Lactobacillus bulgaricus and Streptococcus thermophilus and many additional probiotic organisms are often added which include Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, and Bifidobacterium species, all of which may help to maintain the balance of bacteria needed to boost the immune system and promote a healthy digestive tract. According to the Obesity Action Coalition, yogurt is the number 1 natural source of probiotics eaten by Americans. The live microorganisms in Greek yogurt can help improve your digestive system, help your body absorb nutrients, and improve your health. Greek yogurt may also help ease gastrointestinal conditions like constipation, inflammatory bowel disease, lactose intolerance, and diarrhea.

It is this overabundance of helpful bacteria that can interfere with the detection of yeast and molds in Greek yogurt.

Yeast and Mold Testing in Yogurt

Undesirable microorganisms constitute the primary hazard to safety, quality, and wholesomeness of milk and dairy foods. Yogurt is susceptible to microbial contamination, especially by fungi which grow and reproduce in acidic environments containing oxygen.  In a study by Montagna et.al. (1998), a variety of differently manufactured yogurts from a variety of manufactures tested positive for fungi, of which 75% of the 7.2% positives were yeasts and 25% were molds with counts between 200 and >106 cfu/ml. Yogurts contaminated by fungi can have modified organoleptic characteristics. The most common molds found were Aspergillus and Penicillium and the most common yeast belonged to Candida, Cryptococcus, Rhodotorula species.

Traditional methods are slow, tedious, labor intensive, and often not suitable for assessing the quality and shelf-life of perishable dairy products. The emphasis on the programs based on HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) for total quality management in the dairy industry and increased demand for microbiological surveillance of products, process, and environment, have led to increased interest in rapid methods and automation in microbiology. In the past few years rapid automated methods such as BioLumix and Soleris have been adopted to speed up time to results and automate and simplify the microbiologist tasks.

The BioLumix technology can make the microbiological testing simpler, faster, and automated, saving time, labor and money. 

The BioLumix test method for detection of yeast & molds involves a direct addition of the sample into ready to use vials and automated monitoring of the samples in the instrument. This simple method saves labor and disposables.  The yeast & mold assay is completed in 48 hours as compared to the 5 days required for the standard assay.

The ready–to-use vial comes with media that is pre-adjusted for pH, such that after the addition of the sample the appropriate pH for the growth of the microorganisms is attained. BioLumix has developed such a media that is custom made with a higher pH to accommodate the low pH of yogurt while still maintaining the capability to test as much as 1.0 gram of product directly in the vials. The addition of the supplement to the vial results in the elimination of background growth from lactic bacteria resulting in flat curves.

The initial work with yogurts containing high levels of probiotics showed that the probiotics caused false detection in the instrument due to the CO2 production by the Probiotic bacteria.  As shown in the picture below, the addition of a supplement containing inhibitors to prevented the growth of the probiotics in the vials and resulted in a clear detection of fungi, when present, and a clean flat curve when organisms are not present. 

This newly developed assay has a high sensitivity, being able to detect a few yeast or molds in a gram of sample, is easy to perform (less than one minute hands on time), and result in quick time to results. Many different flavors of various brands of yogurt were tested and none created a false positive result.  Store bought contaminated yogurt detected in the system as did all the samples inoculated with low levels of yeast or mold.

The BioLumix System is designed to accelerate product release with a simplified, automated approach. The system yields fast, accurate, real-time results while reducing costs and eliminates the time required for the assays to be completed.  The system offers real-time results of contaminated samples saving hours, possibly days.

BioLumix will streamline and simplify the microbiological procedures, save labor and create a paperless laboratory, while generating results that correlate well with plate count methodology.

If you are interested in participating a field trial with Neogen’s new test, please contact marketing.fs@neogen.com

 

Reference:
M.T. Montagna, R. Erroi, S. Sanapo, G. Caggiano, F. Bagordo, A. De Donno, Food products and fungal contamination. Note I. Preliminary investigation in commercial yoghurt. Journal of Preventative Medicine and Hygiene 39: 68-70. 1998

Join Neogen at Engredea 2015

By James Topper

Join Neogen at booth #175 on March 6– 8, 2015 for Engredea 2015 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

Engredea brings together a community of leading suppliers and manufacturers of new
ingredients, packaging, technologies, equipment, and services in the global nutrition industry. Engredea, co-located with Natural Products Expo West, is the only trade show that brings together the full food chain of supply to shelf.

Neogen, a world leader in food safety, is excited to showcase new solutions to facilitate cGMPs, quality assurance programs and verification systems at Engredea. Neogen will be presenting new products that have been validated specifically for natural products, dietary supplements, and other nutritional products.

These include:

  • The BioLumix System
  • Allergen control tests and plans
  • Hygiene monitoring equipment

The BioLumix Rapid Microbiology System delivers significant reduction in time to results, reduced staff involvement, and faster product release. BioLumix can save multiple days versus current testing methods and dramatically impact key profit drivers. The validated BioLumix system allows for easy compliance with cGMP. BioLumix will streamline your microbiological testing saving significant time labor and money. BioLumix delivers shorter sample preparation, automated real-time communication, fast product release and early warning of contamination. It is paperless and efficient, saving on disposables, time and space. The system eliminates product interference, delivering accurate results.

With BioLumix Rapid, Automated Microbiology you can view microbiology product testing from a position of company strength and competitive advantage! Streamline your microbiological testing, reduce cost, increase efficiency and show rapid return on investment. The BioLumix system is FDA compliant, fully automated, validated against USP methodology and 21 CFR Part 11 Compliant. The system delivers complete microbiology testing results within 24-48 hours, allowing for faster product release time, shorter sample prep time – saving time, money and other resources.

Neogen’s allergen testing solutions help companies put together best practices for allergen control Neogen’s industry supported Supplier verification document starts with raw materials. Using testing and best practices, companies can have confidence that ingredients, sanitation teams, and their products all comply with allergen label claims.

AccuPoint Advanced is Neogen’s the newest hygiene monitoring system. It gives users the most complete system, from accurately capturing samples, to generating useful information to drive improvements. Visit Neogen’s booth #125 to hear more about the new system, and see a demonstration to see why the AccuPoint Advance is the right tool for the job.

Bacillus cereus contamination can lead to serious consequences…

By Jennifer Johnson

A couple of recent incidents have brought Bacillus cereus back into focus. In the UK for example, liquid baby formula contaminated with the bacteria killed one premature baby and was responsible for sickening 14 others in six different hospitals. Then, in China, 139 people become sick after consuming fermented
black beans
(douchi) in Yunan. After studies were done on vomit samples and the unprepared douchi, three Bacillus cereus strains were isolated.

Bacillus cereus is an aerobic and facultatively anaerobic, motile, spore-forming gram-positive rod.  B. cereus exists in two forms: spores and vegetative cells.  Because B. cereus is found in soil, so raw plant foods such as rice, potatoes, peas, beans and spices, are common sources of the organism. The presence of the organism in processed foods results from the contamination of the raw materials and the subsequent resistance of the spores to thermal and other manufacturing processes. During food’s cooling process, spores may germinate, enabling B. cereus to multiply and produce high levels of the emetic toxin cereulide.

After consumption of contaminated foods, B. cereus causes two types of gastroenteritis. One is an emetic syndrome with a relatively short incubation period of 1-6 hours that results in nausea and vomiting. The other is a diarrheal syndrome with an incubation period of 6-24 hours causing watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and pain.

This quick onset of symptoms can pose a serious problem for passengers on an
international flight for example, where many people can become sick in a short period of time. While foodborne illness associated with air travel is quite uncommon, foodborne outbreaks have been recorded by the airline industry as a result of improper testing or handling of food. When this does occur, it can have serious implications for passengers and crew members and means quality, safe, in-flight catering must rely on high standards of food preparation and storage; this applies at the airport kitchens (or at subcontractors’ facilities) and on the aircraft.

Bacillus cereus has also been recognized as a cause of potentially fatal systemic infections outside the GI tract, particularly in high-risk patients, such as infants, immune-compromised individuals, and chronically debilitated or elderly patients.  These infections include bacteremia, septicemia, meningitis, cerebral abscess, pneumonia, and endocarditis.

The risk of illness after ingestion of vegetative B. cereus cells is influenced by the strain, composition of the food, the liquid nature of the food and the age of the individual. Young children are particularly susceptible and may be more severely affected by a B. cereus contamination resulting in severe complications and even death. Because liquid foods, such as infant formula, are transported faster to the small intestine they are protected from the influence of gastric conditions, providing more opportunity for the survival of the pathogen.

BioLumix B. cereus Vial:

Detecting B. cereus as quickly and easily as possible is of paramount importance when corrective action(s) can minimize public exposure. BioLumix has an assay that detects B. cereus in 24 hours. The B. cereus vial’s sensor detects production of CO2. 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 B. cereus metabolism in the liquid medium placed above the sensor, diffuses into the sensor and interacts with an indicator reagent to provide an indication of the presence of the carbon dioxide. The medium contains growth promoting ingredients and inhibitors to gram-negative and non-Bacillus cereus gram-positive organisms.  The method used is very simple; just pipette the diluted sample into the vial and your results can be obtained in 24 hours or less.

Advantages of BioLumix Vials:

  • Vials can be stored at room temperature
  • Prefilled ready-to-use vials come with a Certificate of Analysis
  • Automated same day test results
  • Vials are available for a variety of tests, each with organism-specific enrichment medium
  • A single organism can be detected in a vial, if capable of growth in the medium
  • Liquid culture from a vial can be used to perform further tests

 

Come and See us at the IAFP in Indianapolis, IN August 3-6, 2014; Booth 610

The 2014 Annual International Association of Food Protection (IAFP): The IAFP meeting will provide attendees with information on current and emerging food safety issues, the latest science, innovative solutions to new and recurring problems. It also provides an opportunity to network with thousands of food safety professionals from around the globe. This meeting has grown over the years to become the leading food safety conference worldwide.
More than 2,800 scientists, from six continents, attend the IAFP Meeting. This event owes its reputation and success to the quantity, quality and diversity of each year’s program; the quality and relevance of exhibits sharing the latest in available technologies; leading experts speaking on a variety of timely topics.
All of us at BioLumix want to take this opportunity to invite you to our exhibit (booth #610) and show you what’s new at BioLumix. We continue to innovate, growing our assay repertoire and capabilities – allowing you to perform all required assays on raw ingredients and finished products, as well as test environmental samples and process water.
During the IAFP show, we will feature:
New Listeria vial: The vial helps detect Listeria in environmental swabs. The Listeria vial capitalizes on the ability of Listeria to hydrolyze esculin, which in the presence of ferric ions, results in the yellow broth turning black and a reduction of the absorbance. A Listeria detection obtained with the BioLumix system can be further verified using a simple and quick Rapid Listeria Immunostrip Test. There was 100% agreement between the BioLumix system and plate methodology when product swabs contained Listeria.
Enhanced B. cereus vial: Recently the inhibitory system of the B. cereus vial was enhanced to eliminate the detection of non-target organisms. It uses the CO2 sensor at the bottom of the vial. The new BC vial recovers well vegetative cells as well as spores. The method used is very simple; just pipette the diluted sample into the vial. The results are available in 24 hours or less.
Direct inoculation of products into vials: Many products can be introduced directly into the BioLumix test vial without the need of a dilution step. These include yogurts and sour cream, as well as milks. Complete coliform test results are obtained within 12 hours with one vial substituting for nine or more MPN (Most Probable Number) test tubes. Yeast and mold results are obtained in 48 hours rather than 5-7 days using plate methods.

The yogurt can be directly added (Figure 1) into BioLumix vials to measure growth of Coliforms or Yeast and Molds. Specialized high pH BioLumix vials can also be used for yogurt samples. When a low pH yogurt sample is added to the BioLumix high pH Coliform vial (CC), the pH conditions become near neutral. This ensures the yogurt manufacturer to be able to correctly test for coliforms using a direct (without dilution) sample of product. As much as 1 gram of product can be directly tested in each BioLumix test vial.

With automated monitoring of ready-to-use assay vials, along with automated data processing and archiving, the microbiologist’s job gets a lot easier with the same accurate results in less than half the time. Our innovative vial design prevents product interference even when directly testing products, such as yogurt and salad dressing. Come to our booth (#610) or contact us directly (734-984-3100) to learn more about the exciting new developments we are featuring at this year’s IAFP.

The BioLumix Advantage
• Vial design prevents product interference
• Automation and connectivity allows faster product release
• Real-time communication for immediate action
• Expedited results: most results in 12-18 hours; Yeast and mold assay in 48 hours
• Automated data archiving and audit trail
• Streamlined testing increases laboratory efficiencies
• Paperless laboratory: centralized test data automatically stored and protected
• Barcode capability for automated sample entry
• Environmental testing made easy

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 your current manual methodology. The data generated is strictly confidential and is only used to show the high correlation of results should your company decide to purchase.

We look forward to working with you and earning another satisfied customer!

Detection of psuedomonads in dairy and water samples using a quantatative one-step testing protocol in just one day

By Roger Brideau*
*Presented in part at the International Association of Food Preservation
‘IAFP’ Conference in Charlotte NC USA

dairy microbiology detection of psuedomonads Introduction- Pseudomonad organisms are a major cause of bacterial spoilage of pasteurized milk and dairy products due to post process contamination.  Early detection of Pseudomonad’s can be a predictor of product shelf-life as they are the predominant psychotropic bacteria present.  BioLumix has developed a rapid method for the detection of Pseudomonad’s in dairy products and the method is also applicable to their detection in process water.

Purpose- To evaluate the ability of the BioLumix system to detect Pseudomonad’s in dairy products, determine the speed to results, sensitivity, selectivity and ability to predict shelf-life.

Methods- the BioLumix system is an optical system that detects growth of Pseudomonad’s using a CO2 sensor in selective growth media.  The BioLumix system was directly compared to the plate count methodology for milk samples stored at refrigerated temperatures and held overnight at room temperatures (enriched).  Testing of water was also accomplished in side by side studies to show the capability of the BioLumix system for quantitation of Pseudomonads.

Results:  Growth of Pseudomonad’s in the BioLumix vial
Table of quantitation of Pseudomonads
A growth comparison was made for detection of each Pseudomonad in the BioLumix system using PSE-B vials and on CFC (Pseudomonas agar) spread plates.  Table 1 summarizes the growth of freshly diluted samples of organisms that were enriched in TSB during the prior 18-24 hrs.  The PSE-B vials are selective, as shown by not allowing growth of unrelated gram positive and gram negative bacteria, yeast or mold.  Four different species of Pseudomonad’s grew in the PSE-B vial and on CFC plates.

Milk Sample Testing
Commercial milk samples were tested upon arrival in the laboratory.  Five of twenty were positive for the presence of Pseudomonad’s using both PSE-B vials and CFC spread agar plates.  After storage for 3-7 days, twelve of twenty samples were positive for Pseudomonad’s including after enrichment at RT for 16-18 hrs.  Thus, refrigerated milk samples have varying incidence of Pseudomonad flora.

Dairy Microbiology Calibration dataMilk Calibration Curve
Organisms from milk samples that grew in PSE-B vials and on CFC plates were used to generate the Calibration Curve shown in Figure 1. These data suggest that low numbers (~10) of Pseudomonad’s should detect within 24 hrs in the PSE-B vial. The Calibration Curve can be embedded into the BioLumix software on the instrument and used to generate a read-out of cfu per gram of milk.  This enables quantitation of the milk sample for the presence of Pseudomonad’s before 24 hr; a distinct advantage over plate methodology taking 48-72 hours.

Dairy Microbiology detection time distributionDistribution of Data
In the dairy settings the goal is to separate a “good” sample that has a potential to maintain quality over a product’s shelf-life from a “bad: sample that will have a shorter shelf life. Criteria for separation between a “good” and “bad” product based upon the Pseudomonad’s numbers can be established. If one selects a count of 1,000 cfu/ml as the separation point: the Histogram shown in Figure 4 indicated at 12.5 hrs all samples with higher counts (in red) detected, while all the samples below 1,000 cfu/ml did not.

Results: Testing of Process Water for the presence of Pseudomonads
Eight different types of process water samples were found to be free of Pseudomonad’s after testing using PSE-B vials and CFC spread plates (data not shown).  Clean process water samples were then inoculated with individual isolates of Pseudomonad’s were used to generate a calibration curves for water, similar to the milk calibration curve. Pseudomonad growth in inoculated process water was measured using PSE-B vials and PA spread plates and was used to generate the Calibration Curve. Detecting vials were confirmed to contain Pseudomonas by the Oxydase test.

Summary
The data presented show equivalency between the BioLumix PSE-B vial and CFC (Pseudomonas agar) plates for the detection of Pseudomonad’s found in commercial milk samples and in inoculated process water samples.  PSE-B vials detected as little as 1-3 organisms (data not shown).
The number of organisms in commercial milk was found to increase over time at refrigerated temperatures and this agreed with a previously published report (Burdova et al 2002) showing the affect of storage temperature on milk shelf-life.
The BioLumix assay is completed in 18 hours and offers an advantage over spread plate methods for time to results and ease of calculation of cfu per gram of milk or water.  A single vial is all that is needed and thus both time and material costs are reduced.  Calibration Curves were easily generated for both milk and water sampling and can be used to generate a cfu/ml of sample in less than 1 day to yield an estimate of cfu/gram.

REFERENCE:  Burdova, O. et al (2002).  Bulletin Vet Med. Poland. 46:325-329. Hygiene of Pasteurized Milk Depending on Psychrotrophic Microorganisms.

International Dairy Show 2013

International Dairy Show 2013
November 3–6, 2013, McCormick Place • Chicago, Illinois

International Dairy Show 2013The International Dairy Show is back in Chicago and is bigger, and better than ever. Dairy, food and beverage processors will see technology and innovations in formulation, processing, packaging, distribution, food safety, and more. Operations, research, and sales and marketing teams will attend to learn trends, cost-cutting innovations, and ways to deliver more value to your customers. We at BioLumix wanted to take this opportunity to invite you to our exhibit (booth #452) and show you what’s new at BioLumix. We continue to innovate, growing our assay repertoire and capabilities.
BioLumix has developed a simple rapid microbiological method for the detection of various groups of bacteria, yeasts and molds. The system can make the microbiology testing simpler, faster and automated, saving you time, labor and money. BioLumix has a comprehensive range of microbiological tests, including specific vials for Coliforms and Pseudomonas. The system is designed to accelerate product release in a simplified automated approach. Complete coliform test results are obtained within 12 hours with one vial substituting for nine or more MPN (Most Probable Number) test tubes. Yeast and mold results are obtained in 48 hours rather than 5-7 days using plate methods. Many products can be introduced directly into the BioLumix test vial without the need of a dilution step. These include yogurts and sour cream, as well as milks.
Dairy product Testing for Yeast and Mold and Coliform
The yogurt can be directly added (Figure 1) into BioLumix vials to measure growth of Coliforms or Yeast and Molds. Specialized high pH BioLumix vials can also be used for yogurt samples. When a low pH yogurt sample is added to the BioLumix high pH Coliform vial (CC), the pH conditions become near neutral. This ensures the yogurt manufacturer to be able to correctly test for coliforms using a direct (without dilution) sample of product. As much as 1 gram of product can be directly tested in each BioLumix test vial.

A clear advantage of the BioLumix vial is that it can be used on the same work-day to yield data about the status of any contamination in dairy samples and thus enable the manufacturer to make a decision on the acceptability of the lot of product for sale and consumption.

Rapid Detection of Pseudomonads in Dairy Products as an Indicator of Product Shelf-Life The data presented in this study suggested that the BioLumix Pseudomonas vials are capable of early detection of Pseudomonads in dairy products and in process water. The system offered a reduction in time to results as compared to the plate methodology and eliminates any product interference. It allows for rapid assessment of any post processing associated problems.

The BioLumix Advantage
• Vial design prevents product interference
• Automation and connectivity allows faster product release
• Real-time communication for immediate action
• Expedited results: most results in 12-18 hours; Yeast and mold assay in 48 hours
• Automated data archiving and audit trail
• Streamlined testing increases laboratory efficiencies
• Paperless laboratory: centralized test data automatically stored and protected
• Barcode capability for automated sample entry
• Environmental testing made easy

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 your current manual methodology. The data generated is strictly confidential and is only used to show the high correlation of results should your company decide to purchase.

We look forward to working with you and earning another satisfied customer!

Rapid Microbiology Testing of Dairy Products using the BioLumix Instrument

Background

Testing Dairy Products using Rapid Microbiology with the BioLumix InstrumentCommercial Dairy Products need to be tested for microbial contaminants.  Dairy products include: cultured dairy products (kefir, cultured buttermilk, sour cream, and yogurt), cheeses (soft cheese products, semi-hard, hard, and extra hard cheeses), processed cheeses, butters, butter creams, dried milks, and ice creams.

Manufacturers require a simple, cost effective and rapid microbiological method to assess samples for the presence of specific organisms as an indication of the sanitary conditions.  The most common dairy microbiology tests include: Aerobic plate count, Yeast and Molds, Coliforms, and could also include some indicator of cold spoilage such as Pseudomonads.  Rapid and early testing for microorganisms can reduce product quarantine time, allows for faster response to contamination, decreases inventory holding and cold warehouse costs, and aids in prediction of product shelf-life for manufacturers.

Troublesome spoilage microorganisms include aerobic Psychrotrophic bacteria, yeasts, molds, heterofermentative lactobacilli, and spore-forming bacteria (Ledenbach and Marshall 2009).  Psychrotrophic bacteria can produce large amounts of extracellular hydrolytic enzymes, and the extent of recontamination of pasteurized fluid milk products with these bacteria is a major determinant of the milk products shelf life. Fungal spoilage of dairy foods is manifested by the presence of a wide variety of metabolic by-products, causing off-odors and flavors, in addition to visible changes in either color or texture and may also cause gassing.

BioLumix has developed a simple rapid microbiological method for the detection of various groups of bacteria, yeasts and molds.  The system can make the microbiology testing simpler, faster and automated, saving manufacturers time, labor and money. BioLumix has a comprehensive range of microbiological tests, including specific vials for Coliforms and Pseudomonas.  The system is designed to accelerate product release in a simplified automated approach.  Complete coliform test results are obtained within 12 hours with one vial substituting for nine or more MPN (Most Probable Number) test tubes.  Yeast and mold results are obtained in 48 hours rather than 5-7 days using plate methods.  Many products can be introduced directly into the BioLumix test vial without the need of a dilution step.  These include yogurts and sour cream, as well as milks.

BioLumix Applications

Yogurt Testing

Yogurt is a dairy product, which is made by blending fermented milk with various ingredients that provide flavor and color.  Manufacturers have responded to the growth in the yogurt market by introducing many different types of yogurt including low fat and no-fat, creamy, bio-yogurt, organic, baby, and frozen.  BioLumix has developed assay methods for measuring contaminating microorganisms in dairy products.

The yogurt can be directly added (Figure 1) into BioLumix vials to measure growth of Coliforms or Yeast and Molds.  Specialized high pH BioLumix vials can also be used for yogurt samples.  When a low pH yogurt sample is added to the BioLumix high pH Coliform vial (CC), the pH conditions become near neutral.  This ensures the yogurt manufacturer to be able to correctly test for coliforms using a direct (without dilution) sample of product.  As much as 1 gram of product can be directly tested in each BioLumix test vial.

Coliform organisms generally include four key groups of enteric bacteria.  They comprise of the following species: Escherichia, Citrobacter, Klebsiella and Enterobacter.  Each of these organisms can grow in the BioLumix high pH CC vial.  Figure 2 illustrates the growth of a coliform (Citrobacter) in the BioLumix CC vial (green) while the Dark Blue curve shows a clean sample.

A clear advantage of the BioLumix vial is that it can be used on the same work-day to yield data about the status of any contamination in dairy samples and thus enable the manufacturer to make a decision on the acceptability of the lot of product for sale and consumption.

Fermented Dairy Products

Yeast and Mold Testing: An example of the growth of a mold in cream cheese is shown below. Figure 3 illustrates the clean test result, using BioLumix Yeast & Mold vials, for the cream cheese product as shown in the Green curve.  The Dark Blue curve illustrates the growth curve in BioLumix YM vials when cream cheese was inoculated with the mold organism Geotrichum candidum.

Coliforms Testing:Similarly, testing of sour cream showed the lack of Coliforms in the product as illustrated in the Dark Blue curve in Figure 4.  The sour cream product sample was found to have other flora as shown by growth in the BioLumix TAC vial which detected total aerobic bacterial counts.  Thus, the BioLumix high pH CC vial was used to show selectivity for the presence or absence of Coliform organisms.

Rapid Detection of Pseudomonas in Dairy Products as an Indicator of Product Shelf-Life
Pseudomonad organisms are a major cause of bacterial spoilage of pasteurized milk and dairy products due to post process contamination.  Early detection of Pseudomonas in can be a predictor of product shelf-life as it is the predominant psychotropic bacteria present.  BioLumix has developed a rapid method for the detection of Pseudomonads in dairy products; the method is also applicable to detection of Pseudomonads in process water.

The BioLumix system was directly compared to the plate count methodology for milk samples stored at refrigerated temperatures and held overnight at room temperatures and to detected Pseudomonads in process water and other dairy products.

Commercial milk products were used to measure the presence of Pseudomonads during refrigerated and elevated temperature storage.  Pseudomonads were present at varying levels in dairy samples and were detected within 16-24 hours using BioLumix vials.  All process water samples tested were free of Pseudomonads by both methods.  Process water samples inoculated with different Pseudomonads strains were found to detect in the BioLumix system.  The vial were selective enough not allowing for growth of unrelated gram positive and gram negative bacteria, mold or yeast.  The combination of the Pseudomonas vial with overnight pre-incubation could serve as an indicator of shelf-life of products.

The data in this study suggests that the BioLumix Pseudomonas vials are capable of early detection of Pseudomonads in dairy products and in processing water. The system offers a reduction in time to results as compared to the plate methodology and eliminates any product interference.  It allows for rapid assessment of problems associated post processing problems.

BioLumix has developed a vial specific for testing of Pseudomonads that are known to commonly contaminate milk and also survive pasteurization, albeit in low numbers. These Pseudomonads may include P aeruginosa, P fluorescens, P putida, and P stutzeri.  Each of these species of pseudomonas was found to grow readily in the BioLumix PSE-B vials.

Summary

The BioLumix System is designed to accelerate product release with a simplified, automated approach.  This yields fast, accurate, real-time results while reducing costs and eliminates the time required for the assays to be completed.  The system offers real-time results of contaminated samples saving hours, possibly days.  The Coliform or Enterobacteriaceae results can be available within 12 hours; Yeast and Mold results within 48 hours.  Thus the BioLumix system allows for rapid detection of Coliforms and Yeast and mold.  For low coliform numbers, one vial can substitute for 9+ MPN tubes.  BioLumix will streamline and simplify the microbiological procedures, save labor and create a paperless laboratory, while generating results that correlate well with plate count methodology.

Reference
Ledenbach L. H. and R.T. Marshall. 2009 In “Compendium of the Microbiological Spoilage of Foods and Beverages” . Chapter Microbiological Spoilage of Dairy Products.

Microbiological Testing of Enzymes

What are Enzymes?

Enzymes are specialized proteins that accelerate the rates of chemical reactions by lowering the activation energy; the substrates are converted into products.  There are numerous different types of commercially available enzymes such as protease, amylase, cellulose and lipase.

Where are they used?

Many different industries use enzymes in the production of their products.  They range from animal nutrition, brewing industry, food processing, detergents, dairy industry, paper industry, biofuels, contact lens cleaners, photographic industry, carbohydrate processing and biochemicals.  Enzymes are also an integral part of the pharmaceutical and Nutraceutical industry.  In laundry detergents enzymes that degrade proteins causing stains, such as those found in grass stains, red wine and soil can be used.

Lipases are another useful class of enzymes that can be used to dissolve fat stains and clean grease traps or other fat-based cleaning applications.  Nutritional enzymes have risen to prominence during the past several years, driven by customers that would like to improve their digestive health. The biggest category for supplemental enzymes is still human digestion, an area that has become increasingly more important for maintaining optimum health. Supplementation of single enzymes, such as lactose to treat lactose intolerance, is probably the most familiar area of enzyme use. However, general dietary supplementation with a broad range of digestive enzymes is becoming increasingly more common. Supplemental enzymes can also be used to enhance the effect of herbs and botanicals. The active component of herbs and other botanicals can remain trapped within the cell wall matrix or may be in a form that is not easily broken down and absorbed. Select enzymes are added to these products to break open certain bonds to free the bioactive compounds.  The application of enzymes technology to pharmaceutical products is also a growing field.

How do they Work?

Amylases in the detergents can help by aiding in the breakdown of starch stains.  Also in the biofuel industry cellulases are used to break down cellulose into sugars that can be fermented, and then further processed to ethanol.  Trypsin is used in baby food to predigest the food for the babies.   Proteases can also be used in contact lens cleaners to remove proteins on the lens.  The figure below show a schematic diagram of how enzymes work:

Most enzymes require microbiological testing similar to other industrial products.   BioLumix has an easy method to complete this goal.  The versatility of the BioLumix system allows for a wide range of enzymes to be tested for a broad array of microorganisms; such as Total Aerobic Count, E. coli, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Lactic Acid Bacteria, Coliforms, Enterobacteriaceae, and Yeast and Molds. Liquid products allow a direct sample to be pipetted directly into the vial, while solid samples require a dilution step first.

The BioLumix Rapid Automated Method:

Enzymes traditionally can be very difficult to test due to their unique properties.  The two most common difficulties when working with enzymes is solubility and pH levels of the product.  When using the BioLumix system, pH is adjusted once the product has first been diluted at 1:10 in TSB or buffer during the preparation before the sample is placed into the vial.  Solubility issues can be solved in a few different ways. One way is by allowing the product to sit in solution and give it time to breakdown, and another way it to warm the product in a water bath or an incubator.

During enzyme testing at BioLumix, on plates the enzyme created a precipitate that looked very similar to colonies, which could lead to difficulties in reading the plate.  The plate needed to be  sub-cultured to determine if it was growth or just the precipitate.  The precipitate did not interfere with the BioLumix vials and provided a clear answer.  Additionally, the results were obtained two days sooner.  An oil based enzyme can also cause difficulties when using traditional plating methods versus the BioLumix system.  In the BioLumix system the oil does not have an effect on the result and can give a definitive answer.  While on plates, the oils can sometimes appear on top of the agar and give the appearance of colonies.

Another less common issue is gas production by the product when it is mixed with a liquid.  If the product is known to release gas the easy solution is to allow the product to off gas before adding it to the appropriate vial.  Then after an hour of being in the liquid, the sample can be stomached or mixed again to release the remaining gas.  While in traditional methods, the gas production can give false positive results in tests with Durham tubes, which would then require additional days to complete.

BioLumix Advantage:

The BioLumix system is designed to accelerate product release with a simplified, automated approach. This yields fast, accurate, real-time results while reducing costs. The BioLumix offers real-time results of contaminated samples saving hours, possibly days. Completed Total Aerobic Count, Coliform or Enterobacteriaceae results are obtained within 18-22 hours; Yeast and Mold results are obtained within 48 hours; the objectionable organisms can be detected within 24 hours after pre-enrichment. Also these assays are simpler to perform than the standard methods saving time, labor and money. The system is unaffected by product interference, delivering accurate results with faster product release.  When referring to batches of product that will be released days early due to the BioLumix system, which allows the storage and production less time to run and hastens the turnaround time of the product, the overall process of enzyme production will decrease.

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!

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.

Rapid Coliform, Yeast and Mold Testing of Yogurt

Testing of Yogurt and Other Dairy Products

Yogurt is a dairy product, which is made by blending fermented milk with various ingredients that provide flavor and color.  Manufacturers have responded to the growth in the yogurt market by introducing many different types of yogurt including low fat and no-fat, creamy, bio-yogurt, organic, baby, and frozen.  The popularity of yogurt has increased due to its perceived health benefit resulting in significant increase in consumption (Chandan et. al 2006) as shown in Figure.

Recently Reuters reported that Dannon, the world’s largest yogurt maker, announced that it expects annual double digit percentage dairy sales growth in the United States over the long term.

Microbiological Testing of Yogurt

Undesirable microorganisms constitute the primary hazard to safety, quality, and wholesomeness of milk and dairy foods.   The primary assays performed in yogurt are yeast and mold (requiring up to 7 days for results) and the coliform assay that is used as an indication of appropriate processing. Traditional methods are slow, tedious, labor intensive, and often not suitable for assessing the quality and shelf-life of perishable dairy products. 

 The emphasis on the programs based on HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) for total quality management in the dairy industry and increased demand for microbiological surveillance of products, process, and environment have led to increased interest in rapid methods and automation in microbiology.

BioLumix technology can make the microbiological testing simpler, faster, and automated.  Saving time, labor and money. 

The BioLumix test method for detection of coliform and yeast & molds involves a direct addition of the sample into ready to use vials and automated monitoring of the samples in the instrument.  The coliform assay is completed in 12 hours, while most contaminated samples are flagged within a typical shift.  The yeast & molds assay is completed in 48 hours as compared to the 5 days required for the standard assay.

The ready–to-use vials come with media that is pre-adjusted for pH, such that after the addition of the sample the appropriate pH for the growth of the microorganisms is attained.  BioLumix has developed such a media that is custom made with a higher pH to accommodate the low pH of yogurt while still maintaining the capability to test as much as 1.0 gram of product directly in the vials.    

Coliform Assay:

The curves obtained by the addition of 1.0 gram of yogurt to a high pH vial (pH 8.2) of coliform are shown:

The Dark Blue curve shows the 1.0 gram sample.  All product interference has been eliminated as depicted by the flat part of the curve.  The Green Curve illustrates a yogurt sample inoculated with a coliform.




In North America, BioLumix has tested yogurt samples manufactured by a number of companies.  The Table below includes a series of products from one such company Yoplait, Ontario, Canada.  These samples include low fat and regular varieties. 

Lemon Cream Pie Light Fat Free
Key Lime Pie Original 99% Fat Free
Strawberry Shortcake Light Fat Free
Raspberry Mousse Whips
Strawberry Thick & Creamy Low Fat
Key Lime Pie Original
Delights Parfait Chocolate Raspberry

All un-inoculated products resulted in flat curves as seen in the Figure.  Product interference was not found.

All products tested were shown to be clean (<1 coliform/ gram).  All inoculated products detected in the system in less than 8 hours.

Yeast and Mold Assay:
Similar results were obtained for yeast and molds. The curves show the results obtained with a variety of yogurt products.

Fieldberry Stirred Yogurt Dark blue
Raspberry Stirred Yogurt Green
Raspberry Stirred Yogurt-inoc CAD L- blue
Yoplait Mingo Red
Yoplait Mingo-inoc ASP Purple
Tubes- Raspberry Yellow
Tubes- Grapes Tan
Irresistible Creamy yogurt Vanilla Dark green

The inoculated samples (light blue- inoculated with Candida albicans; purple inoculated with Aspergillus niger) detected in less than 24 hours.  All the un-inoculated samples were clean and did not detect in the vials.  A total of 50 different yogurts were tested using this method and the data showed that all the samples that contained either yeast or mold detected in the system and none of the clean samples detected.  The plate count results agreed 100% with the BioLumix vial results.

Conclusion:

The BioLumix system is designed to accelerate product release with a simplified, automated approach. This yields fast, accurate, real-time results while reducing costs. The BioLumix offers real-time results of contaminated samples saving hours, possibly days. Completed Coliform or Enterobacteriaceae results are obtained within 12 hours; Yeast and Mold results are obtained within 48 hours.

References:

R.C. Chandan, C.H. White, A. Kilara, and Y.H. Hui. 2006. in Manufacturing Yogurt and Fermented Milks. Blackwell Publishing.

New Bacillus Cereus Vial for BioLumix

Bacillus cereus…

Bacillus cereus is a Gram-positive, facultatively aerobic spore former whose cells are large rods and with spores that do not swell the sporangium.  B. cereus spores are more resistant to heat and chemical treatments than vegetative pathogens such as Salmonella, and E. coli.

Bacillus cereus is responsible for 5% of foodborne illnesses worldwide, causing severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhea. Detecting potential B. cereus as quickly and easily as possible is of paramount importance. B. cereus food poisoning has two recognized types of illness are caused by two distinct metabolites. The diarrheal type of illness is caused by a large molecular weight protein, while the vomiting (emetic) type of illness is believed to be caused by a low molecular weight, heat-stable peptide.

The symptoms of B. cereus diarrheal type food poisoning include watery diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and pain occurs 6-15 hours after consumption of contaminated food. Nausea may accompany diarrhea, but vomiting rarely occurs. Symptoms persist for 24 hours in most instances. The emetic type of food poisoning is characterized by nausea and vomiting within 0.5 to 6 h after consumption of contaminated foods. Occasionally, abdominal cramps and/or diarrhea may also occur. Duration of symptoms is generally less than 24 h.

A wide variety of foods including meats, milk, vegetables, and fish have been associated with the diarrheal type food poisoning. The vomiting-type outbreaks have generally been associated with rice products; however, other starchy foods such as potato, pasta and cheese products have also been implicated. Food mixtures such as sauces, puddings, soups, casseroles, pastries, and salads have frequently been incriminated in food poisoning outbreaks.

Two different methods are described in BAM1 for the detection of B. cereus: (i) plate count method with Mannitol–Egg Yolk–Polymyxin (MYP) agar and (ii) a Most Probable-Number (MPN) method with Tryptic Soy Broth (TSB) supplemented with 0.1% Polymyxin Sulfate.  The MPN method allowed for better recovery and therefore for higher counts than MYP2, probably due to the better ability of the broth to recover injured organisms.

BioLumix Vial:

A new vial (BCP) was developed specifically for B. cereus detection in the BioLumix system.  It uses the CO2 sensor at the bottom of the vial.  The medium contains growth promoting ingredients peptones, casein digest and Yeast Extract. Sodium Pyruvate is added to facilitate the resuscitation of damaged Bacillus cells. Manganese Chloride is added to aid the germination of spores.  Inhibitors include Cyclohexamide to prevent growth of YM; LiCl, Cyclohexamide and Polymixin B are used as inhibitors.

                                    ATCC 10876- Dark Blue; ATCC 11778- Green; ATCC 14549- Light blue; and ATCC13061-Red

 Twenty five cultures of gram negative organisms and Twenty one cultures of gram positive organisms were tested in the BC vial.  None of the gram negative organisms grew in the vial and all gram positive organisms did not grow except one strain of Enterococcus feacalis (ATCC 19433). The new BC vial recovers well vegetative cells as well as spores. The method used is very simple, just pipette the diluted sample into the vial.  The results are obtained in 24 hours or less.  This vial is ready for free product trials.

References:

  1. E. Jeffery Rhodehamel and Stanley M. Harmon (2001). Bacteriological Analytical Manual, Chapter 14: Bacillus cereus (2001). US Food and Drug Administration.
  2. N. M. Harper, K.. K. Getty, K. A. Schmidt, A. L. Nutsch, and R. H. Linton. Comparing the Mannitol–Egg Yolk–Polymyxin Agar Plating Method with the Three-Tube Most-Probable-Number Method for Enumeration of Bacillus cereus Spores in Raw and High-Temperature, Short-Time Pasteurized Milk. J. Food Prot.71:473–478.

Fast, Accurate Dairy Microbiology Testing For Yeast and Mold

Cultured dairy products are the fastest growing area of consumer dairy consumption.1 Rapid dairy microbiology testing for yeast and mold, the most common contaminants in these products, is critical to the industry and consumer safety. Yeast and mold can cause substantial economic losses and produce harmful metabolites.2

Traditional dairy microbiology testing requires 5 days to complete using the plate count methodology. Sending samples to outside labs adds to the cost and time of testing. A microbiological system developed by BioLumix has cut dairy microbiology testing time to as little as 24-48 hours. With the BioLumix microbiological system, manufacturers can streamline existing dairy microbiology testing operations or internalize their outsourced testing for reduced costs and improved efficiency.

In-house microbiology testing with the BioLumix system is simple. Samples are placed in ready-to-use, disposable vials that contain a transparent solid sensor at the bottom. These sensors detect the production of CO2 by all yeasts and molds. This means that if yeasts and molds begin to grow in the medium above the sensor, they will produce CO2 that will diffuse into the sensor and change the sensor’s color. Only gases can penetrate the sensor, which means the optical readings cannot be masked by any liquids, microorganisms, and/or particulate matter.

The BioLumix microbiological system can then detect any optical changes, presenting the results of the assays as soon as detections occur with no need for involvement of an operator or a microbiologist, providing significant savings on laboratory labor. Any out-of-spec samples are flagged in red, demanding attention. The greater the contamination level, the faster the result, ensuring a rapid warning of poor-quality raw materials, finished products or any equipment line issues. The speed of these dairy microbiology results ensure that dairy product manufacturers don’t have delays from testing so they can move products from the warehouse to the marketplace quickly and without premature spoilage.

A recent dairy microbiology study assessed the BioLumix microbiological system with various cultured dairy products that were clean, naturally contaminated, or inoculated with different yeast or mold strains. This included products with high levels of active starter culture or probiotics.3 The BioLumix microbiological system demonstrated 100% accuracy in detecting over 100 different combinations of clean contaminant products, which was comparable to plate count methodology, the current standard in dairy microbiology. However, the BioLumix microbiological system reduced detection time from 5 days to 24 hours for most yeast and 48 hours for mold.

The BioLumix microbiological system simplifies and automates your laboratory procedures by delivering shorter sample preparation, automated real-time communication, fast product release, and early warning of contamination, as well as automated data entry, data archiving, report generation and product release. With reliable dairy microbiology results in just 24-48 hours, dairy manufacturers can focus on efficiency and product quality. For a full reprint of the study or any further information on the BioLumix microbiological system, visit www.mybiolumix.com or call 1-734-984-3100.

References

1. Cogan TM, et al. Advances in starter cultures and cultured foods. J Dairy Sci. 2007;90:4005-4021.

2. Hussein HS, Brasel JM. Toxicity, metabolism and impact of mycotoxins on human and animals. Toxicology. 2001;167:101-134.

3. Eden RF, Brideau R. Rapid automated detection of yeast and molds in cultured dairy products. International Association of Food Protection Annual Meeting 2009.

Karen F. Vieira, Ph.D.