Real Time Testing for Hygiene Critical Activities
The EnSURE hygiene quality monitoring system manufactured by Hygiena International Ltd has been assessed as suitable for use in breweries by The Campden BRI Instrument Assessment Service. The ease of use, speed, accuracy and reliability of results, together with the comprehensive testing range of the EnSURE system makes it suitable for a wide range of applications and users from industrial food and beverage processors, catering and food retailing outlets, water, cosmetics and healthcare industries. The full BRI instrument assessment report is available on their website (www.compareinstruments.com) which was set up to assist technical staff keep up to date with new instruments for the brewing and food processing industries.
The EnSURE system comprises a hand held luminometer, together with surface swabs and liquid testing dippers, used to measure the ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate) levels on working surfaces or other contamination-sensitive areas, as well as in water or other liquids. ATP is found in all living organisms, foods and beverages and its presence on surfaces or in liquids is used as a measure of cleanliness and the potential level of contamination. The Hygiena portable equipment can be used to test hygiene levels, the efficacy of surface cleaning procedures, as well as the quality of potable liquids, thus reducing the potential for microbial proliferation and thereby safeguarding both product safety and brand integrity.
The equipment is easy to use, with some results available within 15 seconds of the test procedure, and with a sensitivity that is x10 to x100 better than other comparable systems. The ease of operation, combined with the speed and accuracy of the results makes the system an ideal tool for monitoring all areas of production, handling and preparation for food and drink products, right through to the point of sale to the consuming public.
The Hygiena EnSURE luminometer provides the platform for a variety of specific tests and is available with a range of testing devices used to collect, analyse and provide data from multiple quality indicators. This hand-held device is light-weight, robust, simple to use and flexible, providing high quality accurate monitoring for a wide range of applications. The seven button keypad is sealed and splash-proof, while being easy to both use and navigate for the operator.
Multiple tests can be undertaken with a single instrument combined with a variety of test swabs. Typically these cover high sensitive hygiene monitoring for ATP (using UltraSnap, SuperSnap and AquaSnap swabs), rapid detection and enumeration of specific bacteria including coliforms and E-coli (MicroSnap), together with measurement of industrial enzymes such as Alkaline Phosphatase and Proteases as process indicators (ZymoSnap). The instrument has 20 programmable test plans and 251 programmable locations per test plan, together with storage capacity for 2000 test results. The instrument runs off 2 x AA batteries (suitable for >6000 tests) and utilises an advanced solid-state technology. All the test devices use liquid-stable reagents for superior reproducibility and sensitivity, covering a wide range of application requirements. These pen-sized devices are also economical, easy to use and give real time results.
The Campden BRI Instrument Assessment Service is designed to reduce the time and costs of testing new instruments and it provides a basic assessment of instrument suitability. Typical extracts from the report on the Hygiena equipment include ‘the system was very simple and easy to use requiring very little instruction. Its hand-held sturdy format allows it to be used in situations where hygiene assessment may be required, and measurements demonstrated good repeatability. In comparison with a competitor’s luminometer, the Hygiena unit appeared about 10 times more sensitive at the low ATP levels of 1 fmol and lower. This was also demonstrated by the difference in limit-of-detection which was 0.21 fmol ATP for the EnSURE luminometer and 2.72 fmol ATP for the competitor system. At very high ATP concentrations the unit showed signal saturation, but this is not considered an issue in the context of hygiene monitoring as such samples would be considered ‘fails’ anyway. The EnSURE and SuperSnap swab system satisfactorily detected beer residue of most products down to at least 1:100 dilution. In our experiments yeast cells could be detected down to concentrations of 100 cells/ml and there was a linear correlation between ATP bioluminescence and cell numbers up to 104 cells/ml, so that this technique can give an indication of yeast cell numbers in solution.’
Further information is available on request to:
Hygiena International Ltd
Wenta Business Centre
Tel: 01923 818821
Fax: 01923 818825
e-mail: [email protected]