The indicator test enables the detection of yeasts and molds in 48 hours and was backed by the AOAC Research Institute’s Performance Tested Methods (PTM) Program.
The firm said strongest demand was coming from dairy, fruit and vegetable food processors.
Eric Amann, global marketing manager with 3M Food Safety, said the product had sold better than forecasted for 2013.
“Early feedback has shown that customers are delighted there is finally a faster yeast and mold test for the Petrifilm Plate family,” he told FoodQualityNews.com.
“Additional feedback shows that it takes time for customers to get used to reading colonies on the plate, especially if they switched from the traditional agar process.
“Once they learn, the process is worth the extra time and effort to ultimately get the benefits of faster time-to-results.”
AOAC-PTM certification validates the test as equivalent to or better than standard reference methods for enumerating yeast and mold within food products including yogurt, sour cream, almonds, frozen bread dough, ready-made pie and dehydrated soup.
Stamp of approval
Amann said 3M had proven through testing at internal and some external labs that the product performs well at 48 hours vs. the traditional methods at five days.
“The AOAC-PTM approval now gives the product that official "stamp of approval" from an independent body that the industry looks up to,” he said.
“That's important for some customers to have before they begin their own internal validation.
“The validation is also important for 3M since there are a number of other products out in the market making bold claims, but don't have the independent approvals across a broad set of food matrices to back up those claims.”
The sample-ready system uses a three-step process: Inoculation, Incubation and Enumeration, said 3M when the test was launched.
Amann said faster product release is the number one thing they hear customers asking for.
“Customers benefit from this faster release by being able to reduce the amount of material held in finished goods storage, especially costly refrigerated or frozen storage space.
“Some customers don't even hold their product for yeast and mold results and still want to use the rapid plate because of the quicker feedback the product gives for uncovering and correcting quality issues, hot spots, etc.; especially in the area of environmental monitoring.”