Making an impact on waste
Twenty years of fundamental academic research into resistance mechanisms and population diversity in yeast and fungi underpins our microbial physiology team. That’s quite nerdy. It’s also extremely useful in a practical, everyday kind of way.
We’ve made significant advances in understanding how yeast and fungi phenotypes manifest in industrial situations. From these advances, our team has formed sound conclusions about how to improve processing and manufacturing activities to increase efficiency and reduce waste. That’s good for our industrial clients, their local communities and our environment.
Combining academic research with applied microbiology has given our world-class team the edge: our expertise in microbial physiology is growing fast. We’re attracting interest from industrial partners as well as some very exciting grant-funded activities.
Academic research + applied microbiology = sound solutions
We’ve hand-picked our microbial team from laboratory-based scientists as well as experts, all with practical experience of industry.
Their key skills are:
- An intimate knowledge of the industry
- Conventional and molecular screening
- Macro/microscopic physiological and molecular identification (we don’t do guesstimates)
- Control recommendation
- Formulation guidance
- New formulation advice
- Challenge testing
Most of our work is confidential, so we can’t give you many real-life project details. But doing a citation search for Dr M Stratford and Dr H Steels, two of our brightest sparks, will reveal a plethora of recent published work. A little light bedtime reading, perhaps.
Monitoring industrial manufacturing plants
This is the teams main focus – particularly beverage manufacturing plants. Work begins in the lab, where the team prepares materials before heading out to the factory to collect samples. This is where their first-hand experience of manufacturing plants comes in handy: they know all the best places to capture airborne contaminants.
Once we’ve collected our samples, it’s back to the lab. We grow cultures in controlled conditions and begin the first round of colony identification. Each colony has an initial evaluation based on macro and microscopic characteristics, taking into account the collection site and wider environmental parameters.
Inconclusive identification leads us to subject the organism to molecular characterisation and in-depth analysis on growth in various conditions. We also subject persistent isolates or samples collected from unexpected locations to detailed analysis and molecular sequencing – just to be absolutely sure what we’ve caught.
When we have our results, we prepare reports and make recommendations as to how our client can control future contamination (or reduce it to acceptable levels). This may involve:
- Modifying standard operating procedures.
- Changing processing conditions.
- Making structural changes to manufacturing equipment.
The third option is fairly drastic and is likely to involve a hefty capital commitment, so we call in one of our external experts. He is an internationally renowned consultant with decades of hands-on experience who will prepare a fully considered proposal for you.
So what else can we do for you?
It’s all very well looking at how to solve problems once they’ve arisen but we also take a keen interest in preventing problems in the first place.
Our microbial team can take a proactive role in prospective intervention particularly during new product development. At present, many companies are formulating and advancing their products to become more ‘active’ for the consumer. They’re trying to make their products healthier and more robust.
Come to us right at the start, during the ideas stage. We’ve built a considerable database of compounds that may be suitable for inclusion in new formulations.
If you’re already past that stage and you’re developing prototypes, we can help there too. We can provide rapid conclusions on a proposed formulation’s stability before you go to the expense of producing a pilot-scale batch.
And when you’ve got your product ready to go, we can execute a challenge test for you. If you’ve completed a survey, we can do a tailored challenge test using cultures isolated from the factory in question.
Our multi-talented microbial physiology team also leads Mologic’s recombinant protein expression activities. The team’s main areas of interest are producing enzymes for use in diagnostics and creating virus-like particles for vaccine development.
Using conventional and unconventional methods and strains, our scientists achieve high-level production and consider quality as well as quantity.
If you’d like to know more about our work with microbes, get in touch. We’d love to tell you more about it.
Yeast expressing a green fluorescent protein in a virus like particle.