ProtoCOL automated colony counter is being used for training and research at a leading food technology centre, the College of Agriculture, Food and Rural Enterprise, (CAFRE) in Northern Ireland to accurately count different bacteria isolated from many food types.

Microbiologists and Food Hygiene students at CAFRE’s Loughry Campus are using the ProtoCOL to automatically perform total cell counts of many bacterial species spiral plated on Plate Count Agar. The ProtoCOL is also being applied to counting red E.coli colonies on a background of blue coliforms plated on selective Coli ID plates, making it quick and easy to detect potentially hazardous levels of E.coli.

Edmund Slaine, a Scientific Officer at CAFRE commented: “We have used a ProtoCOL system for over four years both for education and research purposes. It is an excellent instrument for students because they can easily obtain accurate results from complex counts of different coloured colonies on the same plate with minimal training.”

“We also use the ProtoCOL to help with product innovation. By counting bacteria isolated from shellfish, sausages and beef burgers, we can rapidly provide feedback to the food industry on to how to improve food safety,” continued Slaine.

Martin Smith of Synbiosis concluded: “The amount of analysis and training in which the ProtoCOL is used at CAFRE by novice and experienced scientists alike is a great endorsement of this product’s performance and robustness. The continued use of the system at such a major food technology facility to precisely count many colony types isolated from different foods shows ProtoCOL is a versatile, essential tool that will save valuable time in any food microbiology laboratory.”


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