Food safety testing with food microbiology controls from NSI by Zeptometrix

New Research Supports Efficiency and Validity of Flash and Grow Automatic Colony Counter

Researchers using Flash and Grow automatic colony counter
Counting of microbial populations is a standard procedure of testing in the microbiology laboratory across industries, such as Environmental, Food, Pharma, Biotech and more. Manual counting of colony-forming units (CFU), grown on Petri plates containing growth media is one of the most tedious, laborious and time-consuming processes in a laboratory.

Several types of automated colony counters have been developed to improve efficiency in colony counting. A study recently published by Fort Valley State University, GA (Mahapatra*, A. K., D. L. Harris, R. Drake, C. N. Nguyen and G. Kannan, 2009) compared manual counting of E. coli ATCC 700728 colonies and automated counting of the same bacteria with the IUL Flash & Grow unit.

In their study, an IUL Flash & Grow automated colony counter was used to enumerate E. coli ATCC 700728 colonies and its performance was compared with manual counting on spiral plates. The spiral plating was done using an IUL Eddy Jet. The base 10 logarithms of these colony counts were used for statistical analysis. Linear regression analysis for pooled data and the log differences between the manual and automated counts were determined. The results were analyzed to evaluate the reliability and accuracy of the colony counter.

The Flash & Grow is the first automated colony counter that grows and adapts to specific micro lab needs. It can be up-graded at any time to fit the level of automation, security and features required. Modern LED illumination is combined with a smart but user friendly colony counting software (installed on Windows Vista or any XP Based computer) which together with a high resolution camera can detect and count colonies of approximately 1/450 inch (0.07mm). The advanced module offers color and size discrimination, easily set with a unique drag and drop interface.
Flash & Grow Automatic Colony Counter

The researchers at Fort Valley demonstrated that the IUL Flash & Go automated colony counter is an effective, accurate alternative to the standard method of colony counting. Moreover the study claims the use of the colony counter increased the overall efficiency by significantly reducing the time devoted to conventional manual plate count and made tasks easier for data manipulation, analysis and interpretation.

The above mentioned research only further validates the feedback received from various laboratories that have introduced automation and have been using the Flash & Grow/Eddy Jet combination to conduct their routine microbiology assays.

Such is Bridget Pellicano from Suffolk County Water Authority in NY, who says that for their lab 'The Flash and Grow automatic colony counter has been working out great. It is saving us a lot of time and also saving our eye sight since we don't have to count all the colonies ourselves...' and Dustin Morgenroth, San Antonio Lab Manager at Food Safety Net Services, who gladly shares his experiences after purchasing a second Eddy Jet unit: 'We recently switched from another brand of spiral plater to the Eddy Jet. While doing our correlation study we ran both units simultaneously and quickly noticed that we were starting the 3rd sample on the Eddy Jet while the 1st sample finished on the other brand. With our sample volume, this equates to a significant time savings'.
Eddy Jet Spiral Plating System

The Eddy Jet Spiral Plating System is a fully programmable spiral inoculation instrument, with accuracy and reproducibility of greater than 99%. The Eddy Jet Spiral Plater uses a gamma-Irradiated disposable micro-syringe for each new sample, eliminating cross-contamination and the need for a vacuum source or washing steps. Since the samples come in contact only with the disposable low cost micro-syringe throughout the process, there is absolutely no risk of carryover of sanitizing chemicals, such as hypochlorite.

Laboratories moving into these automated methods understand the importance of introducing more efficient procedures to their routine assays. They combine quality and efficiency by drastically reducing their costs of labor, media, incubation space and more. Instruments such as the IUL Flash & Grow automated colony counter and the Eddy Jet spiral plater, make all of this possible.

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Source : IUL S.A. View Company Information

Posted on May 11, 2009