Microbiological safety is a top priority for the food industry. The quick microbiological validation and approval of products coming from food and beverage production has an immediate affect on the profitability of the manufacturer. Döhler, a leading producer of natural ingredients for the food and beverage industry, offers a complete portfolio of solutions for detecting microorganisms in beverages under its DMD® (Döhler Microsafety Design®) brand. To further optimise this portfolio, Döhler is continually conducting research on innovative processes designed to make the detection of microorganisms in beverages quicker, easier and more reliable. A recently agreed innovation cooperation project calls for Döhler, together with the Fraunhofer ICT-IMM, to examine how microfluidic solutions can support beverage manufacturers in detecting microorganisms to ensure that the quality of their products is consistently recorded in the shortest possible amount of time.
Microfluidics is already used in analytics, diagnostics, biotechnology and medical technology. In this, the separation and analysis of ingredients in liquids is one of the fundamental principles. “To date, this method has not been applied to microbiological examinations in the beverage industry. The intention of the research conducted together with the Fraunhofer ICT-IMM is to provide beverage manufacturers with an absolutely innovative, reliable and, above all, extremely fast microbiological detection system,” says Dr. Sabine Müller, Head of Product Management & Sales DMD® Microbial Detection Solutions at Döhler.
Strong development partner for microfluidic systems
Fraunhofer ICT-IMM has been developing fully integrated and automated microfluidic systems for over 20 years. This research and development project calls for the Fraunhofer Institute to examine the development of an automated process. The objective of the microfluidics-based process is to detect beverage-spoiling microorganisms in a matter of hours, and not, as is the current state-of-the-art, in several days.
A vision for quick microbiological safety
The goal of the innovations collaboration between the Fraunhofer ICT-IMM and Döhler is to be able to monitor the microbiological quality of beverages online in the future – in other words, during the actual production process. A fully automated, consistent control procedure increases the quality of food and ultimately consumer safety. In addition, this reduces costs related to the manufacturing process thanks to the ability to react in a timely and efficient manner.