Food Microbiology is the branch of biology that studies microorganisms: bacteria, fungi and yeasts that may be present in foodstuffs.
In general, the presence of microorganisms in food depends on contamination, which may be caused by the environment, human or tools useful for the preparation or the handling.
In some cases, however, particular microorganisms are added to food for preservation or, as in the case of probiotics, to give the food specific characteristics.
The sampling procedures must ensure that the sample is representative of the batch of food.
The experience of NEOTRON in the analytical control of food results in the development and validation of analytical methods specific to different food matrices.

Types of analysis

The main types of microorganisms important to the quality of food are endless and can be divided into pathogenic strains (for human), spoilage strains and useful strains.
Not only depending on the nature of the food but also of the possible work that the product undergoes, the microbial population that contaminates it can be very heterogeneous. Currently applied methods regard a large number of matrices, as follows:

  • Foodstuffs
  • Animal feed
  • Cosmetics
  • Food ingredients and additives
  • Drinking water
  • Detergent

Moreover, tests on Probiotics, Identifications, Challenge Test, Stability Tests and Shelf Life are performed.

Analytical Techniques

For all the examined parameters validated methods have been developed specifically on the single matrices. The sample preparation protocols are used to reduce the variability of the analytical data in order to obtain accurate and repeatable analytical data.
The analytical techniques applied by NEOTRON include a wide range of methods ranging from those internal to the official as ISO, AFNOR, BAM, etc. USDA.
NEOTRON is also able to apply methods directly provided by the customer (special needs).
We can also offer PCR methods for rapid microbiological results.


Accreditation by Accredia (Italian Accreditation Body) according to UNI CEI EN ISO/IEC 17025 standard.
[Accreditation number: 0026, Certificate first emission: 14/11/1991]

The systematic involvement in Proficiency Test provides the external evidence about the test methods applied.
The full reports and the corresponding identification codes of Proficiency Test performed in the last year are available on this page for the downloading with a click on the code Ptest (in bold characters, see the following table).
Besides the matrix and the analytes analysed, the table shows also a synthesis of the obtained results in terms of z-score.

Legislative References

Commission Regulation (EC) No 2073/2005 of 15 November 2005 on microbiological criteria for foodstuffs


The variety of food products in the market and of new developing formulations creates new critical points that are taken into account by NEOTRON.
New formulation culture media are constantly evaluating to improve the performance of the methods.


To request the last P-Tests results, please contact Quality Assurance.

Latest update: 09/11/2018 15:55:58