Life Technologies brews beverage quality with partnership

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Bacteria

Life Technologies expands testing portfolio to brewing and beverage
Life Technologies expands testing portfolio to brewing and beverage
Life Technologies has expanded its food testing capabilities by joining with a German firm to target spoilage organisms in the brewing and beverage market.

The partnership with PIKA Weihenstephan for molecular testing and detection is targeting consistency in product quality and taste.

Life Technologies said brewers are looking for ways to eliminate beer spoilage bacteria, which can impact the smell, taste and clarity of the end product.

The firm said it is the only supplier to provide enrichment media and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) kits to suit the needs and challenges in beverage quality and safety.

Microorganisms under the microscope

Nir Nimrodi, vice president and general manager, animal health and food safety, said it showed their commitment to go beyond pathogen testing into areas such as spoilage organisms.

“Spoilage in high value beverages is not less important, it may not impact public health, but it is important for the quality,” ​he told

“In microorganism detection it is always small amounts, there is nothing ever contaminated with millions, so the samples need to be grown in the enrichment broth.

“PCR gives you the where, what strain, it helps decontamination and in the trace back to the source that created the issue.”

PIKA Weihenstephan's Fast Orange Nutrient Broth enables brewers to conduct "at-line" testing during processing, helping to prevent spoilage and identify potential sources of contamination.

Fast Orange Nutrient Broth contains an indicator that changes color if growth of the target organisms occurs.

Color-changing broth

It can be a stand-alone method, but in combination with PCR-based tests from PIKA Weihenstephan that run on Life Technologies real-time PCR instrumentation, brewers can shorten time-to-result by several days and increase the level of information obtained from the brewing process, said the firm.

“When you grow the sample in the enrichment broth the average time to know if there is a problem is about two to three days depending on how microorganisms there are and eight days or more to get initial identification from every other nutrient broth on the market,” ​said Nimrodi.

“Then you take the samples from the broth and run in the PCR, which takes about two hours and you know the microorganisms.

“It has two advantages, one it is faster and two the colour change media means that if it doesn’t change colour you don’t need to run the PCR and you can test for only microorganisms that are going to affect the quality of the beer.”  

PIKA Weihenstephan, a spin-off from the Technical University Munich, is located in a hop-growing region of Germany.

Meanwhile, Nimrodi said that the distribution of the RT-qPCR assay for the detection of Norovirus GI and Norovirus GII, Hepatitis A, and the Mengovirus Extraction Control Kit was continuing to go well.

The products are being distributed worldwide by the European Centre for Expertise and Research on Microbial Agents (CEERAM).

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