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Biosens Bioelectron. 2008 Jun 15;23(11):1616-23. doi: 10.1016/j.bios.2008.01.032. Epub 2008 Feb 12.

Detection of microbial concentration in ice-cream using the impedance technique.

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  • 1Department of Electronic Engineering , University of Bologna, Via Risorgimento 8, Bologna, Italy.


The detection of microbial concentration, essential for safe and high quality food products, is traditionally made with the plate count technique, that is reliable, but also slow and not easily realized in the automatic form, as required for direct use in industrial machines. To this purpose, the method based on impedance measurements represents an attractive alternative since it can produce results in about 10h, instead of the 24-48h needed by standard plate counts and can be easily realized in automatic form. In this paper such a method has been experimentally studied in the case of ice-cream products. In particular, all main ice-cream compositions of real interest have been considered and no nutrient media has been used to dilute the samples. A measurement set-up has been realized using benchtop instruments for impedance measurements on samples whose bacteria concentration was independently measured by means of standard plate counts. The obtained results clearly indicate that impedance measurement represents a feasible and reliable technique to detect total microbial concentration in ice-cream, suitable to be implemented as an embedded system for industrial machines.

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