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US company Mocon Inc has launched a new screening system which it says can significantly reduce bacterial detection times for food processors and packers, as well as boosting speed-to-market times across a range of products.

According to FoodProductionDaily.com, Mocon announced the global launch of its GreenLight series which it said provides same-day analysis of anaerobic bacterial counts in meat, poultry, seafood and dairy.

Results can be obtained in minutes or up to eight hours – a major time-saving compared to the 48 hours typically needed for traditional agar plate methods, the report said.

The smaller of the two models unveiled is suitable for in-plant use by food processors and packers that need to conduct less than 50 tests a day, Guy Wray, company marketing manager, was quoted saying.

FoodProductionDaily.com’s report said the system provides a total viable count (TVC) or aerobic plate count (APC) of a food sample’s microbial load by using a sensing assay or vial. As bacteria in the test sample multiply and respire, they consume oxygen. The change in oxygen is used to calculate the original sample’s colony forming units per gram (cfu/g) for solids or per millilitre for liquids. This correlation between oxygen consumption and colony forming units has been confirmed by the AOAC.

The system determines whether a product contains live bacteria without specifying whether they are harmful or not. It provides data that shows whether the TVC or APC reading in a product has – or has not – reached a processor’s or packer’s own ‘ship level’.

“Companies will now have a faster, less labour intensive screening method than the traditional agar plate process which is used by most manufacturing facilities,” added the company’s senior project engineer Tim Ascheman. “Shorter testing cycles provide packers and processors with the potential of getting their perishable food items to the consumer in less time.”

The equipment is available in two models – the smaller 910 (pictured above) targeted at processing areas and smaller labs, while the higher-capacity 960 is designed for larger labs with bigger throughout needs. Both units are compact and portable and come with a USB connection that can be used to interact with the dedicated computer software, said Mocon. – Source: FoodProductionDaily.com

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