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Thursday, 28 May 2020
Raw materials & technologies, Production and testing

Monitoring microbial contamination

Monday, 26 March 2012

More products are nowadays waterbased such as coatings, adhesives, industrial mixtures and additives. Contaminations increase as well. Consequences of contaminated products can be severe, like product recalls, eradition, brand image damages. Physicochemical parameters are closely monitored but microbiological tests are less.

Microbial control of various components in aqueous phases is now possible

Source: Zirafek -

Microbial control of various components in aqueous phases is now possible

Source: Zirafek -

Culture tests show insufficient reactivity. Coating manufacturers need to reduce their feedback time on microbiological testing and to improve their management of total microbiological risk.

In a lately done evaluation, paint samples from factories were tested. Researchers from Aqua-tools used "QG21 Speciality kit” manufactured by LuminUltra Technologies (Canada), based on 2nd generation of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) -metry. This kit allows an interference-free quantification of all living microorganisms in samples. Also for chemical products, heavily loaded in total suspended solids (TSS). It directly measures the concentration microorganisms. ATP is the main energy carrier for all living cells. Its concentration is measured by the kit via a reaction of bioluminescence. ATP in contact with a complex of luciferin/ luciferase reacts and the produced light is then measured by a luminometer. Results delivered in RLU are converted in pg (ATP/mL) or in equivalent microorganisms/mL using a standard ATP solution, "UltraCheck 1”. This provides reliable quantitative results over time.

Based on the researchers industrial experience most people in the coatings industry has been used 10² or 10³ CFU /ml  as their quality target. They use a cATP level as a scoring parameter of level of contamination from any microorganisms from 50 different samples like wallpaints, colorants. They were tested and showed an excellent correlation with culture results.

The conclusion the researchers draw is that this kit allows monitoring microbial contamination in samples from chemical products industry to control and handle microbial contamination in real-time.

During the ETCC congress in Lausanne this technology will be presented.

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