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Testing capabilities boosted by microbiology lab

Press Announcement 10.07.2006

Testing capabilities boosted by microbiology laboratory

AgriQuality - Australasia’s most accredited provider of independent auditing, inspection and testing services to the food and agricultural sectors - is pleased to now offer microbiology testing at their Wellington Laboratory.

The recent purchase of Microbiology Consultancy & Testing Services Ltd (MCTS), and additional technology investments, is an example of AgriQuality’s commitment to offer regional microbiology and pathogen laboratory testing services to local food producers, processors and retailers. Geographically positioned to cater for provincial New Zealand, their laboratories in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch now offer a national microbiology testing service.

AgriQuality’s state-of-the-art Wellington Laboratory is a six million dollar custom-built laboratory that offers the finest food and environmental residues testing available, specialising in the detection of extremely low levels of herbicides, pesticides, veterinary medicines and environmental contaminants. Highly qualified scientists drive modern technology that enables them to detect contaminants, such as dioxins, at levels as small as one part per quadrillion, or the equivalent of one second in 33 million years!

Keeping at the front of science-based technology developments is key to the success of AgriQuality’s Laboratory Services division. The microbiology laboratories in New Zealand and Australia use both traditional and modern rapid technologies to offer a range of services. These services include shelf life testing, food poisoning and spoilage investigations, contaminant trace-backs, cost method development and special projects.

The acquisition of MCTS by AgriQuality follows a seven million dollar investment in the automation of its Auckland and Melbourne Microbiology Laboratories, with the installation of Kiestra’s integrated laboratory automation systems. Automatically calibrated machinery consistently and aseptically prepares and processes test plates, relieving scientists of much of the mundane handling of microbiology testing, and freeing up their time to interpret results and carry out specialised analysis.

This technology investment has bought dual benefits. Inconsistencies and the prospect of contamination and human error are notably reduced while capacity is increased significantly. Kiestra has trebled throughput and guarantees improved turnaround times.

Microbiology services provided by the Wellington laboratory include general microbiology, pathogen testing, bacteria identification, diesel bug and toxin testing.


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