MOCON enhances microbiological detection system

By Joseph James Whitworth contact

- Last updated on GMT

GreenLight vials inserted into the unit
GreenLight vials inserted into the unit

Related tags: Shelf life, Bacteria, Yeast

MOCON has improved the shelf life and temperature range of oxygen sensor vials used with its GreenLight rapid microbial detection system.

The oxygen sensor vials feature a 50% shelf life increase and a broader storage temperature range.

APCheck vials now offer an 18-month shelf life at storage temperatures ranging from 4 to 40 Celsius. 

Enumeration tests for bacteria, yeasts and molds are core analytical methods in industries such as food, said the firm.

When asked about further shelf life and temperature modifications, MOCON said this range was ‘comfortable for the foreseeable future’.

Use for longer

Significance to quality control professionals is the testing vials will be usable for a longer period of time without investment in refrigeration equipment necessary with other methodologies.

Quality control professionals can now store sensors close to lab operators or out in the field without the need for controlled environments, said MOCON.

The enhancement was part of the original design but the firm said it offers conservative specifications so as ‘not to put clients at risk’.

The GreenLight rapid microbial detection system is used in applications including food, beverage, pharmaceutical and industrial products.

Arla Foods installed the technology to measure potential extended shelf life (ESL) milk spoilage​.

The firm said it will reduce overall testing time by 300% compared to traditional, agar-based, standard plate count methods previously used.

Eliminate drawbacks of conventional methods

Alan Traylor, business manager for MOCON’s microbial detection group, said it has effectively eliminated the drawbacks of conventional microbial test kits—cool storage requirements and short shelf-life.

“We were already market leading on shelf life for the sensor but we recognize that users don’t want the hassle of managing expiry dates for consumables in their lab so we have improved their cash flow by extending the shelf life range,” ​he told FoodQualityNews.

“This upgrade has been possible since our original launch but had to undergo extensive lab verification before the announcement. Our customers drove us to develop a rugged and robust test that does not suffer from the delicate handling required of other microbiological assays.”

Traylor said firms using existing vials don’t need to do anything to change over to the new ones as the system is fully backwards compatible.

Sensor vials work with GreenLight to measure changes in oxygen content in a microbial sample.

This information can be converted to a presence/absence result or an enumeration of microbial load in colony forming units per gram (CFU/g). 

GreenLight can provide results at low bacterial loads in less than 24 hours. This compares to 48 to 72-hours by the traditional, agar-based, standard plate count method, said the firm.  

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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