TEST #8 Membrane Filter (MF) Technique
Municipal water treatment plants monitor drinking, waste, and surface water for the presence of coliform bacteria by the MF Technique. The key organism monitored in water treatment facilities is E. coli. The U.S. EPA considers this organism the leading indicator of fecal contamination.
In addition to its use by government labs for monitoring drinking water, the MF Technique is also used for microbial monitoring in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, electronics, and food and beverage industries. The MF Technique is used in these industrial labs to monitor the presence of microorganisms in process waters and final product.
The pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries typically focus on monitoring their process water for Pseudomonas species. The electronics industry monitors for any and all microorganisms because they must keep their process water free from even the smallest organisms. Microbial monitoring in the food and beverage industry typically employs several types of techniques because of the variety of samples that are encountered. Beverage samples can typically be monitored for microorganisms by the MF Technique, but when solid samples cannot be liquefied, alternative methods must be used.
- Permits testing of large sample volumes.
- Reduces preparation time as compared to many traditional methods.
- Allows isolation and enumeration of discrete colonies of bacteria.
- Provides presence or absence information within 24 hours.
- Effective and acceptable technique.
- Used to monitor drinking water in government laboratories.
- Useful for bacterial monitoring in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, electronics, and food and beverage industries.
- Allows for removal of bacteriostatic or cidal agents that would not be removed in Pour Plate, Spread Plate, or MPN techniques.
The MF Technique is an effective, accepted technique for testing fluid samples for microbiological contamination. It involves less preparation than many traditional methods, and is one of a few methods that will allow the isolation and enumeration of microorganisms. The MF Technique also provides presence or absence information within 24 hours.