Food Microbiology Testing Service
Foods contaminated with pathogens can cause foodborne illnesses which significantly increased over the last 20 years and become major health issues to the general public. Foodborne pathogens have caused different infections and intoxications. Spoilage organisms have a negative impact on the food quality, resulting in the economic losses. Microorganisms can be found everywhere in the natural environment and may be naturally present in foods. Food animals are the most important reservoirs for many foodborne pathogens. Food products can also be contaminated from raw materials or through cross contamination during the manufacturing process.
Figure 1. Food microbiology testing of contaminated foods
The microbiological testing for pathogens and spoilage organisms is a key step to ensure the safety and quality of food products, reducing the health risk to humans and the economic loss caused by foodborne outbreaks. The microbiology testing is used to make sure the raw materials and finished products meet desired specifications, identify risk factors, or confirm regulatory guidelines are followed. The infectious doses of many harmful microorganisms are very low. It is necessary and important to have accurate and sensitive techniques and platforms to detect and quantify different types of microbial hazards in food samples.
There are an array of techniques or platforms for the testing of food microbiological hazards. The effective testing of microorganisms requires methods of analysis that can meet the challenging criterions. The analytical methods can be qualitative or quantitative. The examples of commonly used techniques for food microbiology testing are the following:
The standard methods that have been widely used to enumerate or detect microorganisms are traditional culture-based methods using general microbiological testing supplies. They are based on culturing microorganisms on agar plates or dry Petrifilms followed by the biochemical identification. Conventional methods are the most reliable and accurate with low cost, however they are usually time consuming and laborious. Recently there are different rapid and sensitive methods that were developed to overcome the limitations of conventional methods and approved for industry use by regulatory agencies. Nucleic acid-based methods such as polymerase chain reaction (PCR) detect specific DNA or RNA sequences in the target microorganism. Genes of the target cells can be amplified with specific primers and studied further. Immunological-based methods are another rapid alternative. They are based on the interactions between antibody and antigen. The target antigen like bacterial cells from the food sample binds to the immobilized primary antibody and can be used for the subsequent fluorescent or colorimetric assay.
Figure 2. Culture-based microbiology testing
Our services for microbiology testing:
Figure 3: Microbiology testing workflow
Creative Proteomics provides a variety of different services to meet the customers' need for the food microbiology testing. We provide full analysis services including sample preparation and enrichment, the identification, detection, and quantification of target microorganisms, and data analysis. We have strong experience working with different regulations and standards of food microbiology testing.
* Not intended for personal food safety testing.