MOCON, Inc., Minneapolis, partnered with Cherney Microbiological Services Ltd., Green Bay, Wis., to help food processors determine why product spoilage issues exist.

“The best way to rapidly identify the cause of shelf-life issues is to fuse the latest in measurement capability with rich, analytical expertise. By combining MOCON’s GreenLight technology with Cherney’s three decades of food testing expertise, we will be able to get to the root of the spoilage problem, so that the processor can correct it,” says Debra Cherney, founder and CEO.  

MOCON’s GreenLight instruments rapidly screen for presence and number of aerobic microbes. The breakthrough system uses a novel oxygen sensor for measuring total viable count (TVC) and some “indicator” organisms. Typical results are obtained in 1-15 hours compared to the 48- to 72-hour testing period required by traditional plate count methods.

“Standard microbial screening methods will tell you what is happening, but not why and when it’s happening or how it affects shelf life. That’s why it’s important to bring food testing expertise into the equation. MOCON’s GreenLight instrumentation not only significantly reduces test times, but [also] offers a closer look at spoilage mechanisms. This gives our clients the ability to move rapidly into ‘food detective’ phase,” says Alan Traylor, business manager, microbial detection, MOCON.