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BAX® System PCR Assay

Yeast and Mold

In food quality testing, the emphasis is not on pathogenicity but rather on spoilage. Both yeast and mold cause various degrees of deterioration and decomposition of foods. Products containing yeast and mold cells do not usually cause human illness, but high levels of these organisms can cause products to look, smell, or taste bad. This not only diminishes the appeal of the product and brand, but can also result in substantial economic losses to producer, processor and consumer.

When yeast and mold are present in a food sample, the genetic-based BAX® system uses the power of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to rapidly create (amplify) millions of copies of a unique,  DNA fragment that is specific to yeast and mold for reliable detection at customizable thresholds set by the user.

BAX® system assays simplify the method by combining all the PCR reagents you need into a single tablet, conveniently packaged inside the PCR tubes contained in each kit. Tableted reagents provide for minimal hands-on time, in addition to accuracy, long shelf life and consistency.

After standard enrichment, samples are disrupted, then lysed to break open the cell walls and release DNA. This lysate is then used to hydrate the PCR tablets. Processing in the automated unit takes less than 4 hours for a full rack of 96 tests. When used with enriched samples, the electronic results appear as positive/negative icons on screen. When used directly on samples without enrichment, the BAX® system calculates a ratio value, which users correlate to historical plate counts. All data can be easily stored, shared or printed.


The BAX® system detects yeast and mold in food, including shredded cheese and flour products. 

The standard protocol detects yeast and mold in food products at concentrations of 50 cfu/g or more after 44 hours enrichment. Alternative protocols detect concentrations of 10-50 cfu/g. Thresholds can be customized to a lab's action  level for different food products.

For labs with higher action levels, a direct testing  protocol for >500 cfu/g yields same day results.

Validation studies on enriched samples show that the BAX® system reliably reports positive results for samples with yeast and mold at or above the cutoff threshold. Concentrations below the threshold are correctly called negative.


AOAC-RI Performance Tested Method 010902 - tested on yogurt, milk-based infant formula and corn starch. Approval of this assay includes both the original and the BAX® system Q7 instruments.




Samples of this test kit model were independently evaluated by the AOAC Research Institute and were found to perform to the producer's specifications as stated in the test kit's descriptive insert. The producer certifies this kit conforms in all respects to the specifications originally evaluated by the AOAC Research Institute as detailed in the Performance Tested Certificate number 010902



Ordering Info

P/N D12778644   Bundle comprising 1 BAX® System PCR Assay for Screening Yeast and Mold (96 tests) and 1 Supplement kit (96 tubes disrupter solution, 2 tubes DNA stabilizer)

P/N D12685005  Bundle comprising 1 BAX® System PCR Assay for Screening Yeast and Mold (96 tests) and 3 Supplement kits