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J Food Prot. 2017 Mar;80(3):502-505. doi: 10.4315/0362-028X.JFP-16-206.

Improvement of Polymyxin-Egg Yolk-Mannitol-Bromothymol Blue Agar for the Enumeration and Isolation of Bacillus cereus in Various Foods.

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Center for One Health, College of Veterinary Medicine, Konkuk University, 1 Hwayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul 05029, Republic of Korea.
Department of Food & Nutrition, College of Human Ecology, Hanyang University, Seoul 04763, Republic of Korea.


A modified polymyxin-egg yolk-mannitol-bromothymol blue agar (mPEMBA) was developed by supplementing polymyxin-egg yolk-mannitol-bromothymol blue agar (PEMBA) with trimethoprim to improve the selectivity for and recoverability of Bacillus cereus from naturally and artificially contaminated food samples. The number of B. cereus in mPEMBA was significantly higher than in PEMBA, indicating better recoverability (P < 0.05) in red pepper powder (PEMBA 0.80 ± 0.22 log CFU/g versus mPEMBA 1.95 ± 0.17 log CFU/g) and soybean paste (PEMBA 2.19 ± 0.18 log CFU/g versus mPEMBA 3.09 ± 0.13 log CFU/g). In addition, mPEMBA provided better visual differentiation of B. cereus colonies than PEMBA, which is attributable to the reduced number of competing microflora. We conclude that the addition of trimethoprim to PEMBA could generate a synergistic effect to improve selectivity for B. cereus .


Bacillus cereus; Competing microflora; Modified polymyxin–egg yolk–mannitol–bromothymol blue agar; Selective media; Trimethoprim

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