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Sankara narayanan

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 07:57 AM

:helpplease:
I am the Production Manager of a company in Ghana(500 Km away from Accra) manufacturing natural sweetener which is used as a food additive. We are Kosher certified. We are going for ISO 22000. We have had a pre assessment audit last week.

Are there any rapid test kits for detecting microbes in air and water(One of our major raw materials is water)? Can any one help?

A.Sankara Narayanan

Simon

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 08:36 AM

Hello Sankara, the company that immediately springs to mind is Biotrace. I did some digging on their website and they have an agent in South Africa, here are the details:

Analytical & Diagnostic Products
Mr Garth Todd
Managing Director
13 The Garden Business Park, Ateljee Street
Rand Park Ridge, Randburg, Ext. 52,2156 S.A.
Johannesburg
1715
South Africa

Tel: 0027 11 794 5959
Fax: 0027 11 794 5963
Email: adp@pixie.co.za
Website: www.adpsa.co.za

I hope this helps.

Regards,
Simon


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Charles.C

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 02:23 PM

Dear Sankara,

The answer will surely depend on which microbes you refer to and how fast you want results.
I presume you meant water of drinking quality.
Some analysis time parameters are self-defined like 48hr aerobic plate counts at specified temperatures. Sometimes people do use 'in-house" methods to get faster results but these have to be "validated" to be auditorially usable.
In the case of water the text book "Standard Methods for Analysis of Water / Wastewater" is a prime reference to official options available (name is approx.). In the case of eu the physical. chemical, microbiological drinking water stds are numerically well defined (on-line also probably at Europa website) together with sampling requirements and analytical techniques, not to say that rapid methods are unaceptable but validation such as AOAC required. Similar comments for pathogens like Salmonella.

Rgds / Charles.C


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Charles.C


Simon

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 09:17 PM

Hello Sanakara, are the above comments helpful. It would be nice to have some feedback.

Regards,
Simon


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Sankara narayanan

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 08:59 AM

Dear Charles,

Your comments were helpful. As I said in the outset water is one of our major raw materials. We have a filtration plant. For critical operations like UF we use water after treating it through RO. Once in the last 30 days we found water after RO to have microbes, may be as we are storing in a storage tank. So we are going to introduce a UV sterilizer on line. Still the problem is that we get the test results of water purity only after long time as we use conventional methods now. Thats why are on the look out for a rapid microbe test kit.

Meanwhile we have talked to South African supplier about whom Simon made a mention of. We have talked to some others as well. Bio Vigilant, for example, has developed an instrument for microbial detection in air. They are coming out with liquid detector also soon, but the costs are shocking......

Any way thanks gentlemen for the input

A Sankara narayanan


A.Sankara Narayanan

Charles.C

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 09:11 AM

Dear Sankara,

I know I'm going to look foolish shortly but what do the terms UF and RO stand for ?
You metioned detecting microbes however even bottled drinking water is not usually required to be absolutely zero for plate count. (Depends on the microbe of course.)

Rgds / Charles.C


Kind Regards,

 

Charles.C


Sankara narayanan

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 11:07 AM

Dear Charles,

UF stands for Ultra Filtration and RO for Reverse Osmosis.

You have a valid point when you talk about microbes in bottled drinking water too, but in our case there is an element of sceptism in the European countries as the material is exported from Africa. So inorder to make it doubly sure we have kept stringent internal specifications( ie microbe free) .


A Sankara Narayanan


A.Sankara Narayanan

Charles Chew

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Posted 31 January 2007 - 02:48 PM

Dear Sankara,

Can you tell us what microbes were detected as well as the test results. It would be helpful if you can tell us what the treated water is used for i.e. post harvest hydrocooling etc

I refer to Charles C. that even bottled drinking waters generally do not require zero plate count. Your source of water is certainly an important element for consideration. Base on your current water treatment method, it should suffice but suspect microbes may be re-introduced after treatment

Furthermore, rapid test methods give you the benefit of quick results but are not exactly very reliable. Worse, it might end up giving you false reading and end up with ambitious intent.

Regards
Charles Chew


Cheers,
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Posted 01 February 2007 - 09:37 AM

Hello Sankara:

May be you can let us know the type of microbe detected from the water.

Is there any possibility from:
1) The filtration system itself (filtering system being heavily soiled or worn out)
2) Post contamination after filtration example from the piping (e.g. leakage or any dead-spot) or any holding / storage tank.
3) Any manual handling by worker or exposure to ambient etc?
4) Accuracy of the test done internally e.g. method of sampling, (You may need to sterilise the discharge point with alcohol and later with flame) your sampling container, utensil. [Not to question your accuracy actually but rather the possibility]

As far as I know, the biotrace is to detect the ATP from food residues and also from the living microorganisms but not targeted to any specific pathogen. [Please correct me if I am wrong].

For environmental air microbiological monitoring, some people are using an air sampler to collect the air from the particular area taking into consideration the volume of that area. But later, you still need to incubate the plate for either total bacteria count or any specific pathogen e.g. pathogenic mould etc.



Charles.C

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Posted 18 February 2007 - 04:58 PM

Dear Sankara,

Thank you for answering my terminology query 2+ weeks back and sorry for late response due to my missing the subsequent posts.
I understand yr comment about scepticism but, quite honestly, whenever I see a company statement like "microbe free" the alarm bells start clanging!. You may be doing yourself a dis-service since you seem to well understand yr process. Then again, if yr customers like (and believe) this format, perhaps you should follow the old maxim "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". :biggrin:

Kind Rgds / Charles.C


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Charles.C


Justin

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Posted 11 March 2007 - 05:43 AM

:helpplease:
I am the Production Manager of a company in Ghana(500 Km away from Accra) manufacturing natural sweetener which is used as a food additive. We are Kosher certified. We are going for ISO 22000. We have had a pre assessment audit last week.

Are there any rapid test kits for detecting microbes in air and water(One of our major raw materials is water)? Can any one help?


I am attending a product launch on Wednesday here in South Africa by a company called Microsep, ok the launch is to do with laboratory water treatment for pure water, not suitable for your purposes, but they did a while ago show us a system that works on ATP bioluminesence. I will speak to them to see if this will work or if they have another system available and then give feedback.

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Sankara narayanan

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Posted 12 March 2007 - 03:03 PM

Thanks and waiting to hear from you Justin regarding rapid test kit for microbes.

As to Charles.C's rejoinder, our company doesnt advertise the product with 'microbe-free' claims. I mentioned it because we maintain it as our internal spec.

thanks and regards

A Sankara Narayanan


A.Sankara Narayanan



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