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A rapid method for the detection of coliforms in processed milk and milk products

Authors: K.G. Sherestha and R.N. Sinha


The present study was undertaken to evaluate a simple test for the rapid detection of coliforms in flavoured milk, ice-cream and skim milk powder. In the test, a concentrate of the product obtained by centrifugation is mised with an equal quantity of double-strength broth before incubation at 37°C. One hundred and one samples were examined for Most Probably Number (MPN) of coliforms by resumptive coliform test at 37°C and checked for the earliest time required to detect the coliforms by the rapid test. Coliform levels at 1 to 10/mL could be detected in 8.33-10.37 h while higher counts, 11 to 100/mL and 101 to 1000/mL, could be detected in 7.67 h and 5.83 h respectively. MacConkey, BGLB and VRB broths gave comparable results. The MPN of coliforms and the rapid detection time were significantly and highly negatively correlated. On inoculation with pure cultures of coliforms and non-coliforms, the rapid test proved to be specific for coliforms and did not exhibit either false-positive or false-negative reactions. Since the rapid test does not require any additional equipment than what is normally present in the quality control laboratory, the test may be conveniently adopted in dairy plants for processed milk and milk products as well as for the line-testing programme. This rapid test is much cheaper than the conventional presumptive coliform test.

$15.00 (inc. GST)