Automated test speeds up contamination enumeration

By George Reynolds

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Bacteria, Microbiology

The first automated test for enumerating Enterobacteriaceae will
slash confirmation time dramatically, the manufacturer claims.

BioMérieux, a France-based in vitro​ diagnostics firm, claims its new Tempo EB deliversan Enterobacteriaceae count, including confirmation, in as little as 22 hours.

The traditional EN-ISO 21528-2 method requires a two-step confirmation that can take 72 hours, leading to costly processing delays in food plants.

BioMérieux's automated system uses the the most probable number (MPN) methodcalculate results.

"Tempo EB is based on the well proven and accepted MPN method whichfacilitates its integration in both industrial and official laboratories,"​ said Alexandre Mérieux,the company's corporate vice president.

Enumeration methods are not used for detecting specific pathogens, but to determine the amount of groups of bacteria. Such quality indicators allow industries to determine their level of process contamination.

Tempo EB uses mediums containing a fluorescent indicator based on the formulaof traditional culture media and bioMérieux biotechnology. The card at the heart of the systemcontains three levels of 16 wells offering MPN precision. Each well corresponds to a dilution tube and the size of the well corresponds to one to three levels of dilution.

Once the culture-media sample is distributed in the wells, the bacteriametabolize the culture-media and the system uses MPN to calculate the micro-organism content of theoriginal sample.

Pascal Cruveiller, of bioMérieux global marketing-communications said: "Theaccuracy of Tempo EB is comparable to traditional methods. There is less risk as there is no humanfactor as the system is fully automated."

Developers at bioMérieux are currently working to connect the Tempo EB toLaboratory Information Management Systems (LIMS) in the near future.

Tempo EB is currently undergoing validation by AFNOR according to the ISO106140 standard.

Enterobacteriaceae enumeration is the key hygiene parameter in the latestEuropean regulation on microbiological criteria for food. The Enterobacteriaceae family includesimportant food spoilage agents as well as pathogens such as Salmonella and E. coli.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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