As far as health is concerned, consumers microbial infection can cause serious problems and sometime even death. For this reason a microbial control is a major stage during the production and before the delivery of liquid food products and consumer medical products to guarantee their sterility.
The method used at the present time for the determination of microbial contamination are based on culturing petri dish which involved a necessary long time to obtain the results of the microbial analysis (1 day to 21 day). This fact had some incidence on the quality of the controlled product, production costs and economic values of perishable goods.
The objective of the present research is to develop a set of apparatus and reagents which will allow microbial contamination control in less than few hours and which will detect rapidly a very low number of micro-organisms using new rapid method involving a low cost equipment for microbiology testing. It will meet the requirements of the industrial partners.
A preliminary work has been done in order to define specification of the samples. A knowledge of the sample characteristics is necessary to define the first step of the project (task 1) to eliminate every particle that will prevent the filtration or some chemical components that will be inhibitors for luminescence reaction. SMEs partners brought samples that will be analysed by classical microbiological controls (cfu) and classical physico-chemical controls.
The project is based on microscopic imaging of the intracellular ATP of different micro-organisms (such bacteria, yeast's or mycelium) fixed on a filter membrane.
A bioluminescence reaction is used to visualise the ATP and the observation is carried out through a low noise integrating camera. The sensibility of the detection is high enough to enable the characterisation of single micro-organism. The following tasks will be carried out:
- Preparation of the sample.
- Preparation of bacterial membrane.
- Application of the luminescence reagents.
- Bacteria counting using cooled charged coupled device (CCD) camera.
- Design of the analysis procedure.
- On-site validation.
Funding SchemeCRS - Cooperative research contracts
69610 Saint Genis L'argentière
7321 Castelo De Vioe
277 35 Kivik
362 22 Tingsryd