The MilkyWay instrument on display at the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Annual Conference in Florida was specifically adapted for processing dairy samples.
It automates the pour plate method for performing total viable bacterial counts on liquid samples.
The application on display mixed molten agar with the sample. After it cools down, the mixture is set and then overlaid with another layer of agar.
Norman Sharples, Copan Diagnostics CEO, said it can automate the manual pour plate method and bring standardization with high-volume throughput capability.
"This instrument is particularly advantageous to quality control labs that perform a high number of TVC testing on liquid or liquefied samples. It will improve not only quality control but is also a cost-saving and efficient method for processing samples."
MilkyWay can be customized to perform applications that involve mixing liquid or liquefied samples with molten agar for traditional pour plate TVCs.
It uses an onboard Hamilton pipetting engine for aliquoting and dispensing samples, while simultaneously an agar media dispenser mixes the sample with molten agar within a petri dish.
For regular pour plate TVCs this is where the process would end but the MilkyWay includes the option to add a second layer of molten agar once the initial sample/agar mixture has set.