Sensor provides multiple hygiene readings

By George Reynolds

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Adenosine triphosphate

A new handheld sensor that provides multiple environmental
conditions in a single report helps processors comply with food
safety regulations, its manufacturer claims.

Monitoring conditions is an interregnal part of hazard analysis and critical control point (HACCP) procedures, which are becoming increasingly forced on processors internationally. BioControl claims its Lighting MVP (multi variable platform) sensor measures quality indicators, such as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), pH and temperature to allow quick decisions to be made. ATP is an energy molecule found in all organic substances. The technology measures light emitted from organic residues in any given substance to test for microorganisms. With the advent of the simple to use and portable tests, it has become widely adopted by food and beverage manufacturers. Surface samples can be taken using a swap device, which is activated when the operator pushes the plunger downwards. Once the sample is taken, the sampling device is inserted into the analysis chamber of the Lighting, which returns a result within 10 seconds, the manufacturer claims. The device can be calibrated to HACCP settings, which can then provide a result of pass, warning or fail. A liquid sampling device, held in a sample for five seconds captures 100ul of liquid, which is then analysed using the same method as ATP. The conductivity probe measures chemical concentration of parts-per-million (ppm), which ensures correct mixing of chemicals. BioControl claims it is accurate to within five per cent - five times more accurate than test strips and titration kits. The pH probe features Ion Sensitive Field Effect Transistor (ISFET) solid-state technology, which is the most powerful pH testing technology available, according to BioControl. Readings of between -20C and 105C can be measured using the stainless steel temperature probe, the manufacturer claims. With a selectable scale between Celsius verses Fahrenheit, results are displayed to the 0.5 of a degree. With an operating range of between -5C and 105C, the unit is programmed with algorithms that allow for automatic temperature compensation of pH readings, claims the company. The conductivity, pH and temperature probes can be attached at a single connection point on the back of the unit. The instrument can store up to 10,000 results from any combination of measurements, while up to 4,000 test points can be customized, claims the company. Results from testing can be uploaded to a PC for analysis and archiving with a single click of a button. Analysis can be performed in house or electronically sent to BioControl, which provide a service. The sealed keypad protects the MVP from wet hands and moisture, while short cut key functions speed up operations, claims the manufacturer. Units are supplied with a lithium ion battery and charger, which includes adaptors for all major countries. BioControl's food safety test kits are used by processors, independent and government laboratories worldwide for hygiene monitoring, quality assurance and pathogen testing.

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