I work for an agricultural company using fruit that is not fresh market quality to make cold pressed juices. We've been doing this for about 6 months and have isolated mold as a key factor in quality. With some research I discovered the Howard Mold screening process. I would like to see if this can be used to test incoming fruit mold levels and also post-pressing mold levels to make sure that we won't end up with a mold count above 4 logs. Does anyone have any insight into the viability of this as a "leading indicator" and how it might be set up? I can't find an SOP online except for this : hausserscientific.com/products/howard_mold_counter.html That link is helpful and all, but I don't really know what the filaments are supposed to look like or what how to set up a correlation of length or density of filaments to total mold count. Maybe someone knows of some standards that could be applied in this application?
My microscope will be arriving in a week or so which I magically got for free from a lab that got new equipment. I'm hesitant to order the Howard mold counting chamber (pretty pricey) until I have an SOP based on some basic understanding. Any tips or suggested reading would be greatly appreciated.