The rapid detection of pathogens and microbial toxins in food is critical for ensuring consumer safety, especially for products with short shelf lives. Detecting a single pathogenic bacteria in a food sample requires some growth in an enrichment medium before analysis. Today’s rapid methods allow testing of the sample within one or two days: bioMérieux recently launched a 6-hour test, VIDAS® UP for E. coli O157:H7, using the recombinant bacteriophage technology*.
RAPID TESTING METHODS OF PATHOGENS IN FOODS AND ENVIRONMENTAL SAMPLES
bioMérieux was an early pioneer in developing fast alternative methods, a continuing focus of its R&D. We are recognized today as a global leader with certification from organizations such as AFNOR INTERNATIONAL or AOAC INTERNATIONAL, and compliant with ISO norms for our portfolio of innovative solutions.
The agri-food industry routinely verifies the microbiological quality of the production process, from raw materials through to finished products. Quality indicator testing is of major importance in establishing a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) approach to food quality and safety and in guaranteeing the commercial value of food products.
RAPID ENUMERATION OF QUALITY INDICATORS IN FOODS: THE TEMPO® SOLUTION
We are continually enhancing the menu of the TEMPO® platform, for food quality and hygiene testing, with new tests called quality indicators.
TEMPO® is the first automated system for the enumeration of microorganisms in food and its innovation lies in the use of a miniaturized card based on the most probable number method (MPN). The system relieves the tedious manual steps of the MPN method by bringing automation, high throughput and sample traceability to the routine microbiology laboratory, as well as offering a cost-effective alternative to manual testing.
TEMPO® is an example of bioMérieux’s approach to innovation in routine microbiological testing of food The system involved 5 years of research and development by bioMérieux, in close partnership with the food industry. Fifteen international food microbiology experts worked on its revolutionary concept and were involved in each step of the system development.
Automated systems such as VIDAS® or TEMPO® have made it possible to reduce hands-on manipulations, simplify workflow and reduce overall costs of testing compared to manual methods. Faster time to result also enable to quicker release of food products.
INNOVATIVE CULTURE MEDIA
With the ChromID® range, bioMérieux has developed highly specific culture media based on chromogenic substrates, that enable a very simple reading of bacterial growth in color. These media are generally used to detect pathogens, enumerate quality indicators or identify bacteria.
RECOMBINANT BACTERIOPHAGE TECHNOLOGY
Bacteriophages are highly specific viruses that only infect bacteria. They use adhesion structures to bind to their bacterial hosts. They are used for the targeted capture of bacteria and to isolate them in a sample.
bioMérieux holds exclusive rights to a novel technology for food-borne pathogen detection. The technology uses bacteriophages, special binding proteins to capture and isolate bacteria from a sample. Integrated into bioMérieux’s VIDAS® immunoassay platform, this breakthrough is being used to develop new tests, representing an important progress in:
- reducing the time required to grow the bacteria to a detectable level,
- getting the organisms out of a complex food matrix and into the test device.