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Rapid enumeration of microorganisms in foods by the direct epifluorescent filter technique

Rapid enumeration of microorganisms in foods by the direct epifluorescent filter technique

Applied and Environmental Microbiology 44(4): 809-813

ISSN/ISBN: 0099-2240

PMID: 7149713

Filtration of "stomachered" food suspensions through nylon filters (pore size, 5 microns) removed most of the food debris without affecting the recovery of microorganisms. Two to ten milliliters of these prefiltered suspensions could be filtered in the direct epifluorescent filter technique (DEFT). The technique takes less than 30 min to complete and has a lower sensitivity of less than 60,000 microorganisms per g for all products examined. Vegetative bacterial cells, spores, fungal hyphae, and yeasts could be distinguished with the technique. For fresh meat and fish, the DEFT count of prefiltered suspensions agreed well with the plate count of unfiltered suspensions over the range of 10(4) to 10(10)/g (correlation coefficient of 0.91). For frozen meat and fish and frozen vegetables, the two counting methods had correlation coefficients of 0.87 and 0.66, respectively. The poor correlation for frozen vegetables was due to the inclusion in the DEFT count of nonviable bacteria killed by the blanching process used to inactivate enzymes. Good agreement was obtained between the prefiltered DEFT count and unfiltered plate count for cooked meats, cream doughnut, and whole peppers. Possible reasons for the poor agreement between the DEFT count and plate count for certain products are discussed.

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Accession: 044138357

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