Saturday, March 8, 2008

Joint projects for the development of paper industry microbiology?

For certain reasons (described in the letters below) the methods of paper industry microbiology shall be critically reviewed. Transferring traditional methods of food and clinical microbiology (as the most obvious sources of P&P microbiological methods) may help to prove the hygieny of paper and board products but cannot actually work as "rapid methods" for process control at all.

The need of cooperation between paper industry, microbiological institutions and developers of microbiological methods is obvious. There are several alternatives to build up joint projects for proceeding of microbiological process and product control but, for some reasons, the interests of the potential partners do not meet.

It would be interesting to hear different opinions about the chances to combine R&D activities (and money!) in the area of paper industry microbiology. Be first to comment!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Standard vs. novel methods of microbiology in paper industry?

Standard colony count methods give reliable estimates of the number of cultivable bacteria in paper industry samples.

They also serve as documents of the hygiene of paper industry products.

HACCP of paper and board machines cannot be based on these methods, however, because they do not give immediate information about the process and product hygiene. Active, fast responses to the hazardous changes of microbiological status cannot be guided by colony count methods. Something shall be done at once, in minutes or hours - not after CFU incubation periods of 1...5 days.

Traditional standard methods are still the first choose when observing paper industry microbiology. There are several facts which still prevent the application of "Rapid Methods of Microbiology", already popular on other areas of microbiological process and product control, into paper industry:

* CFU methods have been accepted by the customers for a long time (tens of years) ago
* novel, rapid alternatives of microbiological control are not known by the technically-orientated personnel of paper industry
* interchange of microbiological knowledge between paper industry and other branches of global industry are still few (paper industry research , in a way, is relatively isolated whenever other topics than physicochemical and technical paper research are concerned)
* new methods are very rarely accepted among standard mb methods of paper industry

What must be done to apply "Rapid Methods of Microbiology" into paper industry, where they could act as valuable tools for HACCP of process and product hygiene?