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New Rapid Indicator Organism Testing for Food Processors

MOCON, Inc. has now added rapid “indicator organism” testing capability to its proven GreenLight® microbial detection platform, reducing test time up to 60 percent.  In addition to the previously available total count testing capability, the GreenLight system now is able to simultaneously test for enterobacteriaceae and total coliform counts using an oxygen depletion sensor and automated reader.

Food processors will be able to significantly benefit from more extensive quantitative test results in 10 hours or less, vs. the 24 hours required by traditional methods.  Target applications include dairy, cheese and meat, as well as sanitation initiatives.

“These indicator tests are a key component of food safety programs because they can predict the possibility of contamination by organisms that cause diseases in humans.  The more rapid the test results, the faster food processors can make decisions regarding the use of perishable incoming raw materials and outgoing products.  Shortening the testing cycle helps contribute to a safer overall food supply,” said Alan Traylor, business manager, microbial detection, MOCON.

The GreenLight system is configured to allow quantitative data and pass/fail testing in a fully automated mode. One of the most attractive features of the GreenLight system is that results from higher bacterial loads are achieved more quickly. This allows the user to set a pass/fail limit and be warned of failures in a much shorter time than traditional plate count methods—which require 24-72 hour incubation time regardless of bacterial load.

Food processors also benefit from shorter preparation times due to the elimination of serial dilutions.  The simplified prep process reduces cost and decreases the chance of lab error.  Additionally, GreenLight’s “objective” test protocol does not rely on plate counting, thereby further reducing errors and creating the ability to save quantitative information in a secure database for future reference.

The GreenLight food safety product line is part of MOCON’s Microbial Detection business unit.  Its objective is to provide automated rapid, precise, same-day microbial count results in a cost-effective manner with reduced process variability.

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