Quickly identify the target microorganism using MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry techniques (MALDI-TOF MS)

Micro-organism identification may be essential in a variety of situations:

  • In the event of a presumed microbiological alteration of a product, in order to study the causes of the alteration and apply the necessary measures to correct the process

  • In order to analyse the surface and environmental micro-organisms present in the product manufacturing processes

  • To characterise a specific micro-organism in our process, such as in the case of starter cultures

  • To establish traceability and to determine whether a micro-organism in a product comes from a particular raw material, for example.

  • To verify if the micro-organism is a pathogen

  • To characterise the composition of biofilms


Up until the introduction of MALDI-TOF MS, bacterial identification was still based on methods developed by classical bacteriology. These methods had a number of drawbacks, including the necessity, in most cases, of incubation periods of at least 16-18 hours, as well as other technical disadvantages.

Compared to these classical identification methods, MALDI-TOF MS has obvious advantages:

  • It provides reliable identification in a short period of time, thus saving at least those 16-18 h of growth in biochemical identification systems

  • This technique is based on the protein profile analysis of the microorganism in the 2-20kD spectrum, where most of the ribosomal proteins are located. This provides a specific profile for the vast majority of bacterial species. This makes it possible to differentiate them from the rest with the same reliability as the most common sequencing techniques (16S rRNA)


At AINIA we give you value

  • We use the fastest and most reliable techniques such as MALDI-TOF MS to identify microorganisms
  • We provide you with our team of experts in micro-organism identification (pathogens, spoilage, starter cultures, etc.)
  • Authorised for the use of the EM MALDI-TOF technique in the colony confirmation phase of Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes
  • Included in the Accreditation Programme “Microbiological Testing for Foods” (NT-70.02). Testing to ensure compliance with microbiological criteria for foods
  • We are continuously expanding the team’s database with the characterisation of new microorganisms that have been isolated and identified in the different studies and research projects
  • We provide a REP-PCR screening service to compare different micro-organisms identified as belonging to the same species in order to determine whether they are the same strain. This service assists in interpreting the results from contamination diagnostics in companies. It also clarifies doubts regarding the identity and authenticity of starter cultures, and it can determine the origin of possible contaminants in altered products or products containing pathogens.
Consult the scope in this link: ENAC Accreditations AINIA laboratories

Identification of micro-organisms

Our solutions include:

  • Initial consultation to determine the optimal identification technique in each case

  • In case of inconclusive results, a sequencing identification service is available

  • Logistics management support for samples in order to adapt the conditions for sample collection, conditioning, transport and reception, so that the samples arrive in optimal conditions for analysis

  • Analyses using the most appropriate techniques, combining high reliability criteria, costs and deadlines adapted to your needs

  • Results are delivered through secure and accessible platforms, based on the most advanced information and communication technologies

  • Consultation to ensure the correct interpretation of the obtained results


How can I help you?

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Sonia Marco
Head of Microbiology Laboratory

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