Does your product show microbial contamination and may this impact food product release? Do you need a fast assessment of the culprit to determine if it is dangerous or harmless? Or to assess if the contaminant was able to survive processing, or conversely, if contamination occurred afterwards? Objective information on the contaminant helps to answer such questions and take decisions. 

NIZO can support you with our rapid microbial identification service. Even when the microbe that caused the issue is unculturable or already dead, we can identify it by applying DNA sequence analysis of the bacterial 16S rRNA gene directly on the product. Our service is independent and confidential and can be expanded to include expert interpretation and advice of the results when opting for our superior identification service package. Choose the option that best fits your needs: 

  1. (One-off) Standard priority identification 

When samples are received by NIZO on Mondays or Wednesdays, the typical turnover time is four working days between sample receipt and reporting. A standard microbial identification report with expected characteristics relevant for food safety is included.  

  1. (One-off) High priority identification 

Samples are received by NIZO on any weekday, with a turnover time of two to three working days between sample receipt and reporting. A standard microbial identification report with expected characteristics relevant for food safety is included.  

  1. (Continuous) Superior identification service package 

Guarantee continuous microbial identification in your (food) samples throughout the year for a fixed price per sample and benefit for additional privileges, such as: 

  • expert interpretation and advice on obtained identifications in relation to your process and product,  
  • repeat analyses until a clear conclusion is obtained,  
  • phylogenetic comparisons between past, current and future contaminants on request,  
  • high priority identification upon request for high urgency samples, and 
  • personal contact with our service team. 

Obtain direct insights about potential risks and contamination routes 

Our standard identification report not only contains the name of the identified microbe in your sample, but also its pathogenicity status, common sources, and information on sporeforming ability and heat resistant properties. Such basic information already tells you something about potential risks and contamination routes in relation to your process and product.  

Through our superior identification service package, our scientific experts can moreover provide you with additional information on the contaminant in relation to food safety or spoilage and possible routes of contamination and are at your disposal for advice on mitigation. Sequence alignments and phylogenetic relationships with samples from the past allow for comparisons between past, current and future contaminants. For instance, is a pattern of recurring contaminants seen, or is it incidental? Such information supports you in your track and trace activities. 

Standard priorityHigh prioritySuperior package
Sample receiptMonday or WednesdayAny weekdayMonday or Wednesday
(high priority for urgent samples on request)
Results after receipt of samples4 workdays2 to 3 workdays4 workdays (high priority for urgent samples on request)
Bacterial identificationYesYesYes
Bacterial characteristicsYesYesYes
Repeat analysisNoNoYes
Expert interpretationNoNoYes
Sample comparisonNoNoYes
Expert supportNoNoYes

If you need more than the identity and basics of the bacteria, NIZO can also support with high resolution strain characterization using whole genome sequencing (WGS) and analysis, in-depth genome and transcriptome characterisation concerning safety-compromising functionalities, process optimization and other potential solutions for mitigation of food safety risks. Please contact us for more information.  

Any questions?

Raymond Kievit is happy to answer all your questions.

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