microbiological testing of seal oil

Michel Desbiens mdesbien at agr.gouv.qc.ca
Wed Aug 30 13:15:02 EST 2000

A processor of seal oil (these adult mammalian are very abundant in Canada) 
wants to export his product to Asia as a food supplement. He was asked by 
the Asian custom authorities to perform routine microbiological analyses 
(coliforms, Salmonella). The processor asked to our lab to help him to 
perform these analyses.

As the process includes centrifugation to remove residual solid particles 
and all the water content (less than 0,2 % in the final product), we don't 
see the use of such microbiological testing, but the requirements have to 
be met anyway. So, we wonder what kind of method to use to test the oil. 
Most of the methods are adequate for aqueous phase, and we strongly presume 
that official methods using plating or MPN cannot give satisfactory results 
due to the immiscibility of fat with water. Can somebody suggest a 
methodology ?

Thank you very much,

M. Desbiens


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