As food companies struggle to find a profitable balance between making sure that they meet safety and processing regulations and producing products efficiently, microbiology equipment and supplies are increasingly vital to their efforts.
Explore this issueFebruary/March 2011
Whatever firms are testing—be it ingredients and raw materials as they come in; finished products; or even the production environment—in search of indicator organisms that paint a clear picture of what’s happening to the products, the methods they employ have to be reliable the first time. And the more tests that can be done more quickly, the better.
“Our main goal was to produce a more sensitive test that could happen faster,” said product manager Wendy Lauer of Bio-Rad’s iQ-Check real-time PCR test kits. “The first time users get a presumptive positive result, they know it’s a real positive. If they get a negative, they have the confidence it’s actually negative.”
The ability for users to conduct more reliable tests faster—whether those tests are of raw materials, finished products, or even the processing environment—has been a primary driver of innovation in microbiology testing equipment.
In the interests of production efficiency, iQ-Check shortens a typical two-day wait for test results to 24 hours and allows 94 samples to be processed in one plate format, Lauer said.
Always-critical user-friendliness and customer feedback have been prime factors shaping many of the products offered by suppliers of microbiological testing. The incorporation of the newest technological advances remains a primary goal.
For Advanced Instruments of Norwood, Mass., this has meant introducing a touch-screen interface to its Autoplate Spiral Plating System (SPS), the newest iteration of the Autoplate 400—an industry favorite for more than 15 years. “This allows the customer to run the system with minimal training, as quickly as possible, and allows for multiple operators without the headache of constant in-service training,” said national sales manager Anthony Pappas. “Companies, universities, and government agencies that are studying pathogens in food have been our most loyal customers. Counts can be very high, and the SPS can save these customers 4 LOG in dilutions (up to 75% in materials).”
Advanced Instruments Inc.
Two Technology Way
Norwood, MA 02062
Autoplate® Spiral Plating System, from Advanced Instruments
The Autoplate SPS features 50 percent faster cycle times–about 35 seconds as opposed to one minute–a new Windows® CE-based touchscreen display, and features three new spiral plating modes. The system introduces a revolutionary new self-cleaning feature that is fast, thorough, and completely ensures no sample-to-sample contamination.
- Colony Counting Apparatus
- Colony Counting, Automated
- Plating Equipment/Apparatus
- Plating systems, Automated