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Rapid Detection and Counting of Viable Bacteria in Vegetables and Environmental Water Using a Photon-Counting TV Camera

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A bioluminescence assay carried out with a photon-counting TV camera was evaluated for rapid enumeration of viable bacterial counts. The test sample was filtered through a membrane filter, and the membrane filter retaining bacteria was incubated at 37°C for 6 h on a filter paper soaked with nutrient broth supplemented with 0.5% NaCl. The membrane filter was then subjected to a bioluminescence reaction, and the intensity of light and numbers of light emission points on the filter were measured with a photon-counting TV camera. The light intensity measured on seven different bacteria correlated with initial viable counts; the correlation coefficient was calculated to be 0.89. The number of light emission points measured on Escherichia coli also correlated with the initial viable counts (r = 0.81) in a range from 1 to 100 CFU. Presumptive bacterial counts by the present bioluminescence assay determined on 79 samples of vegetables and 122 samples of environmental water correlated well with the viable counts obtained by the conventional plating method, with correlation coefficients of 0.87 and 0.82, respectively.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Food Science and Technology, Faculty of Agriculture, Kyushu University, 6-10-1, Hakozaki, Higashi-ku, Fukuoka 812-8581, Japan

Publication date: October 1, 1998

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