MICROBILOGICAL ANALYSIS

We offer these microbiological services:

 

Microbiological analysis to determine compliance with State and Federal requirements, e.g. FDA and EPA requirements for materials including foods, water, soil, air, supplements, cosmetics, and pharmaceuticals.
Determination of product stability and expiration
date based on estimated shelf-life
Research to improve product stability.
Killing efficiency of antimicrobials (zone of influence, phenol coefficient, AOAC challenge protocols).
Development of improved antimicrobials.
Industrial hygiene testing of homes, offices, and
commercial properties based on Andersen sampling, swab testing, and settled air microbes. Also testing of mycotoxins, particulates, and chemical contaminants.
Testing of food and cosmetics for toxins.
Light filth analysis based on microscopic ID of insects and other contaminants.

 

MICROBIOLOGY OF FOODS

 

We offer all types of microbiological services for foods, beverages, food supplements,
and herbal products. Services include determination of microbe levels to establish safety, quality control, accidental or deliberate contamination, food shelf-life based on levels of microbes after a given storage period, etc.

Microbes frequently analyzed in this laboratory are total plate count (standard plate count), total yeast and mold count, total coliform, fecal coliform, E. coli, pseudomonas, salmonella, staphylococcus A, staphylococcus mirsa, listeria, clostridium botulinum, total anaerobics, Using standard plate counting techniques, plate streaking, multiple tubes for MPN, and other methods, we can determine all of the non-pathogenic microbes. Official methods such as BAM (FDA), USP, and APHA are used.

For some clients we conduct quality control tests of foods to determine if the food meets safety standards established for the type of food. For example, some foods should have less than 1 colony of E. coli per gram of food (< 1 CFU/g). Many foods should have a total mold count of less 1000 CFU/g of sample.

In the case of forensic studies of contaminated foods, we generally screen the product for total plate count, total coliform, E. coli, fecal coliform, salmonella, or other microbes depending on the type of food and the medical symptoms of the victim. For these legal samples, we try to use less than half of the sample and will store the remainder for other possible testing.

We also do a considerable amount of microbe challenge testing using a very high level of microbes, e.g. 10 million counts, tested against an antimicrobial product at a known level for a known time. Percent reductions of 99.9% (3 log) or better are generally obtained but reductions as high as 6 log have been obtained for some products.