Food & Beverage Microbiology

IR Biotyper® for Food Microbiology

Microbial strain typing for rapid source tracking and quality control monitoring

IR Biotyper® – microbial strain typing for rapid source tracking and quality control monitoring

As the global food chain increases in complexity, so too does the need for rapid, reliable and accurate testing. With food product safety high on every national agenda, easily accessible, failsafe quality control is essential.
Microbial strain typing for source tracking and quality control is an essential step in maintaining food product safety. Bruker’s Fourier Transform - Infra-Red (FT-IR) spectroscopy system, the IR Biotyper®, offers an easy-to-use method for fast and effective microorganism strain typing, with a simple workflow that needs minimal operator training.

Proactive monitoring

Hygiene control and source tracking throughout food and beverage production lines requires several steps, from surface sampling to molecular analyses. Adequate monitoring of potential contaminants requires routine fingerprinting of the collected microbial isolates for proactive root cause analyses and corrective actions in sanitation process management. Fast screening prior to Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) helps saving time in setting up a microbial triage for further hygiene study plans.

With a discriminatory power comparable to routine molecular genetic methods, the IR Biotyper® meets the above needs, allowing for real-time quality control and source-tracking.


Suitable for biotechnological manufacturing processes

To ensure the quality and consistency of the products derived from beneficial microorganisms, QC strategies are crucial in monitoring biotechnological manufacturing. Strain typing of the technological strains is essential to assure meeting the predefined quality of product intermediates and final product.

With the IR Biotyper®, strain typing and data analyses are achieved in less than three hours, enabling real-time monitoring of technological processes.

IR spectral range

The IR Biotyper® system analyses typical molecular vibrations caused by the absorption of infrared light. The absorption bands are assigned to certain chemical structures, whereas the wavelength range of the carbohydrates play the major role for strain differentiation or contributes most to differentiate. The new IR Biotyper® software version 4.0 extends the system’s spectral range to also include lipids and peptides to reveal further options for strain differentiation.

Rapid analysis

Tracking potential contaminants in food requires routine fingerprinting of microbial isolates. The IR Biotyper® offers fast sample preparation of up to 30 microbial isolates in only 30 minutes. With high discriminatory power for routine testing, one full run (with 96 spot positions) delivers results within three hours.

This speed of response allows manufacturers to identify quickly the cause of contamination and promptly establish a course of corrective action.

Predefined classification

With the latest launched software version, microbial strains commonly found in food and beverage products can be classified as an immediate match, using previously build classifiers.

This classification model, based on Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) and now also with a Support Vector Machine (SVM) algorithm, allows users to continually build up and train their system with common findings in food and beverage applications for improved classification power.

Powerful integration

To maximize efficiencies in the food quality testing laboratory, the IR Biotyper® 4.0 software can be integrated with Bruker’s market leading MALDI Biotyper® (MBT) system using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry. This powerful combination brings together the rapid microorganism identification capability of the MBT with IR strain typing in a seamless workflow.

Visualization of results

The IR Biotyper® software version offers a choice of result formats:

Classification of Salmonella serogroups as a 3D scatter plot

Traffic light reporting
Operators can see and interpret results rapidly with the IR Biotyper® user-friendly traffic light visualization.

3D scatter plots
A 3D scatter plot allows easy visualization of related and non-related strains identified by dimensional reduction methods.

Analysis of 48 Salmonella isolates to further differentiate S. Typhi from other serotypes within the serogroup O:9

Software integration for an all-in-one solution

The IR Biotyper® 4.0 software supports workflow optimization and automation. Features include customizable metadata, templates for intuitive run setup and easy project creation.

This software offers integration with Bruker’s MALDI Biotyper® (MBT) Compass software, facilitating data management via sample information import and export to a laboratory information management system (LIMS).


Not for use in clinical diagnostic procedures. 

Please contact your local representative for availability in your country.


Microbial Strain Typing for Real-Time Quality Control and Source Tracking Using FT-IR Spectroscopy