A new rapid method for monitoring coliforms was developed on the basis of the instant gelling effects of alginate and calcium. The effectiveness of this new method in the detection of coliforms was evaluated. Tests involving Escherichia coli, Enterobacter cloacae, Klebsiella pneumoniae, total coliforms in milk, cold-injured coliforms, and total coliforms in raw milk were carried out. The bacterial samples were diluted in 0.2% peptone water containing 90 mM CaCl2 and added into test tubes containing modified purple broth base medium. Coliform concentrations were determined on the basis of the time of color change and gas production in the alginate tubes. All results obtained by the alginate method correlated strongly with those obtained by the conventional violet red bile agar (VRBA) plating method. The alginate method reduced detection time by 12 to 14 h compared with the conventional VRBA plating method. The alginate method can be applied in field studies more easily than melted-agar systems can. The results of this study indicate that the alginate method is an accurate, rapid, simple, and economical way to monitor and estimate concentrations of total coliforms in food.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Food Science