Rapid Solutions for Water Quality

Frequently Asked Questions

 

 

  Do you have a question that is not answered below? Ask your question here. 

 

 ATP Products

 

 AquaSnap Total and Free

How does bioluminescence work?

Bioluminescence is the result of a biochemical reaction and is the science behind Hygiena ATP detection tests. The reaction includes the following elements:

  • Luciferase enzyme- naturally occurring in fireflies, or synthetically manufactured
  • Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) - the energy molecule of all living organisms
  • Oxygen- a catalyst
  • Luicferin- a molecule that undergoes a chemical charge when affixed by an enzyme

ATP + Luciferin + Luciferase + O2 == == Light output

The reaction occurs in two steps: The substrate combines with ATP and oxygen, which is controlled by the enzyme. The chemical energy in step 1 excites a specific molecule (the combination of Luciferin and Luciferase). The result is decay which is manifested as photon emission, or light production. The light is simply a by-product of the chemical reaction and does not depend on light.

Biolum reaction 

What is ATP Monitoring?

ATP monitoring is a rapid testing method to quickly assess the cleanliness of surfaces or liquid samples from such places as CIP systems. Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) is present in all organic material and is the universal unit of energy used in all living cells. ATP is produced and/or broken down in metabolic processes in all living systems. Processes such as photosynthesis in plants, muscle contraction in humans, respiration in fungi, and fermentation in yeast are all driven by ATP. Therefore, most foods and microbial cells will contain some level of naturally occurring ATP.

Hygiena luminometers (in conjunction with ATP test devices) use bioluminescence to detect residual ATP as an indicator of cleanliness. The presence of ATP indicates improper cleaning and the presence of contamination, including bacterial residue or organic contamination. This implies a potential for the sample source to harbor and support bacterial growth.

ATP monitoring is used in water monitoring to confirm that ATP presence is eliminated or minimized by effective biocide addition and management.

  

Are there any studies or white papers on ATP testing?

Many manufacturers offer seemingly scientific research supporting their own ATP systems. It is important for customers to understand that only objective studies conducted by independent laboratories should be accepted as scientific evidence of product performance. Silliker Laboratories, the leading international food testing and safety laboratory, conducted an independent study comparing five commercial ATP systems. This study found that Hygiena’s products offer superior linearity, sensitivity, repeatability, and accuracy. For more information or a copy of the full report please contact your sales representative.

What is an RLU?

RLU stands for Relative Light Unit and is the unit of measure used in bioluminescence. When a test swab is activated, a bioluminescent reaction occurs, generating light output. Luminometers measure and quantify that light with an RLU output. Because manufacturers use different sensor technologies and algorithms for adding up the photons, RLU measurements will vary from system to system. However, because the ATP bioluminescence reaction is linear, the more ATP present means the more light will be present. This makes comparing systems easy. (Comparing RLU values is like comparing Fahrenheit and Celsius; they are two different scales for the same temperature.) For more information on comparing systems, click here.

The relationship between the amount of ATP on the sample and the RLU result reading on the luminometer is simple:

High contamination (improper cleaning) = Large amount of ATP = More light produced in reaction= High RLU reading on SystemSURE Plus or EnSURE

 

graph 1 passcautionfail

 

The RLU reading is directly proportional to the amount of ATP collected from the sample. A high RLU reading indicates a large amount of ATP at the test location. This in turn indicates improper cleaning and the presence of contaminants.

Cleaning properly results in less ATP at the location. Less ATP results in less light output during the bioluminescent reaction and consequently, a lower RLU reading.

 

Can I compare RLU measurement to CFU plate counts?

ATP systems with standard ATP test swabs detect the presence of ATP and cannot distinguish microbial ATP from other organic ATP left behind after cleaning. RLU results could potentially be microbial cells, organic ATP from product residue, or both. This makes comparing RLU to CFU difficult. Studies have shown that there is anywhere between 60-90% correlation between RLU and CFU readings depending on the environment in which the system is used.

The presence of ATP on the surface indicates that it has not been adequately cleaned. The primary purpose of cleaning is to remove product residue for product contact surfaces. Effective cleaning simultaneously removes the material capable of supporting microbial survival and growth, as well as many of the microbes themselves. The technology behind ATP systems has been changing quite rapidly over the past few years and now there are ATP systems that can run tests specifically for microorganisms.

For more information on these multi-functional ATP systems see the MicroSnap platform from Hygiena. 

 

 

What is a biofilm?

A biofilm is formed when microorganisms find a receptive environment where they are exposed to food and moisture. The microorganisms work together as a population and secrete a sticky polymer to form a solid matrix attached to a surface. Once a biofilm is established, it is very difficult to eliminate because the microbes are reinforced and protected by the matrix, making them very resistant to sanitizers. Biofilms are often responsible for poor product quality and/or lost product due to contamination, causing costly damage to both product and equipment. The threat of a biofilm can be eliminated with proper ATP hygiene monitoring, allowing early detection and removal of food residue – thus eliminating the food source for possible biofilm-forming microbes. In addition, Hygiena ATP swabs have a unique detergent on the swab tip that cuts through biofilm and exposes the underlying cells. If a biofilm has already developed, there will be more ATP on a surface, which will result in a higher RLU result.

biofilm-diagram

 

 How long are ATP tests good for?

ATP test devices have a 15 month shelf life at refrigerated temperatures (2-8° C) and 4 week shelf life at room temperature (21-25° C). All swab labels are printed with expiration month and year for your convenience.

  

Will direct sunlight affect test results?

Yes. Tests activated and measured in direct sunlight will distort results, increasing the RLU output. If a test must be collected outside, the swab device should be activated and measured out of the direct sunlight.

 

How do I properly dispose of Hygiena ATP test devices?

Hygiena ATP test devices are made of 100% recyclable, non-toxic plastic and may be discarded with plastic recyclables.(Recycling Code 7:Other).

 

How does temperature affect ATP test result?

Ambient temperature of 20–22°C (70–72°F) is the temperature that provides optimal performance. The only time ambient temperatures can affect results is if reagents are at a low temperature. This can happen if testing is done immediately after taking the tests out of the refrigerator. If testing in cold environments the instrument will self-adjust to external temperature but the luciferase reagents needs to be at  20–22°C (70–72°F) to function best.

If reagents are cold, then the reaction will be slower and the RLU result for a given amount of ATP will be lower.

Temperature does not affect light measurement of the instrument provided that the instrument has equilibrated to the environmental conditions. The instrument will sense an environmental temperature change of 5°C and it will automatically initiate a 15 second recalibration sequence.

The user can also initiate a manual recalibration at any time by depressing and holding the OK button down for 3 seconds.

The system can be used in cold environments (e.g. 5°C) if the instrument is equilibrated for 10 – 15 minutes before use and that the reagent swab devices are kept warm e.g. by storage in an internal pocket close to body heat.

 

Why do I get a different RLU result when I re-measure the same test device again in the luminometer?

: You will always get a different reading when trying to re-read the same test device more than once. The meter is reading a light given off by the reagent. This light peaks and then begins to die off. Always measure your test device in the time recommended in the product instructions. Any result you receive after the first reading may be misleading because that light will continue to die out until eventually no light is emitted.

 

 

end faq

 

 

 

WaterShot Total and Free

Do I have to change my RLU limits to use WaterShot?

No. WaterShot works just like the device it is replacing, so you may continue testing the same way. However, superior design and reagent technology make WaterShot more consistent, reliable, and affordable. 

  

How long are WaterShot tests good for?

ATP test devices have a 15 month shelf life at refrigerated temperatures (2-8° C) and 4 week shelf life at room temperature (21-25° C). All swab labels are printed with expiration month and year for your convenience.

 

Will direct sunlight affect test results?

Yes. Tests activated and measured in direct sunlight will distort results, increasing the RLU output. If a test must be collected outside, the swab device should be activated and measured out of the direct sunlight.

 

How does temperature affect ATP test result?

Ambient temperature of 20–22°C (70–72°F) is the temperature that provides optimal performance. The only time ambient temperatures can affect results is if reagents are at a low temperature. This can happen if testing is done immediately after taking the tests out of the refrigerator. If testing in cold environments the instrument will self-adjust to external temperature but the luciferase reagents needs to be at  20–22°C (70–72°F) to function best.

If reagents are cold, then the reaction will be slower and the RLU result for a given amount of ATP will be lower.

Temperature does not affect light measurement of the instrument provided that the instrument has equilibrated to the environmental conditions. The instrument will sense an environmental temperature change of 5°C and it will automatically initiate a 15 second recalibration sequence.

The user can also initiate a manual recalibration at any time by depressing and holding the OK button down for 3 seconds.

The system can be used in cold environments (e.g. 5°C) if the instrument is equilibrated for 10 – 15 minutes before use and that the reagent swab devices are kept warm e.g. by storage in an internal pocket close to body heat.

 

Why do I get a different RLU result when I re-measure the same test device again in the luminometer?

: You will always get a different reading when trying to re-read the same test device more than once. The meter is reading a light given off by the reagent. This light peaks and then begins to die off. Always measure your test device in the time recommended in the product instructions. Any result you receive after the first reading may be misleading because that light will continue to die out until eventually no light is emitted.

 

 

 

end faq

 

 

 Monitoring Systems

 

 EnSURE, SystemSURE Plus

Does the system need to be calibrated?

Hygiena ATP systems self-calibrate at start up to ensure accurate readings. To further verify calibration, we offer a calibration control kit. Though the kit is not necessary for the performance of the system, a documented calibration process shows due diligence to auditors. With advanced technology, Hygiena systems will stay in calibration for the life of the device.

 

Are there maintenance costs I should be worried about?

Unlike other systems on the market, Hygiena’s EnSURE and SystemSURE Plus do not require expensive yearly maintenance or service contracts. Monitoring systems come with a 1 year warranty. Should you system become damaged or non-operational, Hygiena will promptly replace your device with a loaner so that you do not experience any interruption in your testing program.

 

Does the system do anything else besides ATP testing?

In addition to water ATP testing, Hygiena’s EnSURE measures test swabs for:

 

How do I erase the results off the handheld?

There are two ways to erase the results off the handheld.

  1. If you are using SureTrend software, simply plug connect your luminometer to your computer, click "Synchronize" in SureTrend, upload results, and click "Yes" when asked if you would like to erase test results memory.
  2. If you want to erase the results without syncing to SureTrend, select the * button on the meter, then use the arrows to navigate to the Memory menu. Press "OK" to select, and then press and hold down the * button for 2 seconds. This will display the total number of stored results to be erased. To accept and start the erase function, press and hold down the "OK" button for 1 second. To cancel, press any other button.

 

Why do EnSURE and SystemSURE Plus come pre-programmed with Pass/Fail limits of 10 and 30?

The pre-programmed limits for food and beverage facilities are based on years of data, experience, and third part studies. Hygiena recommends that users validate these recommendations and adjust them to meet each facility's unique needs. To see the data or learn more, download this ATP Thresholds Technical Document.

 

I'm getting lower than expected results. What is wrong?

Almost all unexpected results can be resolved by asking yourself these questions:

  1. Have my swabs been stored at the correct temperatures and are within the expiration date? Swabs that have been stored incorrectly for prolonged periods of time may not perform as expected.  
  2. Am I holding the meter upright when taking measurement? Holding the meter upright ensures that the sensor at the bottom of the machine can see and quantify the light reaction accurately.
  3. Am I overloading the swab? Swabbing too larger of an area may result in picking up physical debris. This debris will inhibit the light reaction, giving lower than expected results.
  4. Is the read chamber dirty? A dirty read chamber could also block light from reaching the sensor. To check your read chamber, open the lid of your system, and use the vertical plastic tab to pull the read chamber out of the meter. (You may also find that pushing your pinky finger into the chamber, then lifting it out works easier for you.) If you see any water spots or debris on the clear plastic tip of the read chamber, you may wash the read chamber with warm water and let it air dry. Ensure the chamber is completely dry before replacing in the meter. If the read chamber has physical damage like cracks, or scratches on the clear plastic tip, contact customer service to order a replacement read chamber. 

 If these tips do not resolve the problem, contact technical support.

 

Why are Hygiena's products so much more cost effective?

Hygiena strives to create easier-to-use, more cost-effective products for its clients. By partnering with leading manufacturing companies and using state-of-the-art automated manufacturing processes in house, Hygiena is able to create superior cost-effective products. A perfect example of this is our ATP bioluminescence product line. It incorporates Medical Packaging's patented user-friendly and environmentally-friendly Snap-Valve™ technology, which allows us to create an easy-to-use sample test device that uses less plastic than our competition and has superior performance. Combining this with our unique liquid-stable reagents allows us to have a complete all-in-one sample testing device that has better performance and costs a lot less.

 

How do I contact Hygiena to purchase an ATP solution?

 Hygiena products are available worldwide. We have a direct sales staff in the USA, UK and parts of Europe, and Asia. Hygiena also has a network of dedicated distributors and agents across the globe, covering over 80 countries. Hygiena's sales team and distributors have specific skills and experience in providing products in the food processing market, particularly ATP bioluminescence and its applications. To find out more about Hygiena's products or to find a distributor in a particular part of the world, click here.

end faq

 

 

 

 Microorganism Tests

 MicroSnap Total 

 

How fast does MicroSnap Total deliver results?

MicroSnap Total delivers results in 7 hours. This time frame reflects the entire test time, including the enrichment and detection steps.

 

Is it possible to collect my sample ahead of time and run the assay later? For example, I want to collect samples at the end of a shift, and then conduct the test the following day.

Yes. If you are testing for qualitative results (presence/absence), then it is possible to collect sample in advance and delay the assay. To do this, collect the sample according to instructions and put the entire un-activated enrichment device in a refrigerator (2-8 °C). When you are ready to begin the test process, remove the enrichment device from the refrigerator and activate the device according to instructions. Advance sample collection for enumeration testing has not been thoroughly tested by Hygiena laboratories and is not recommended.

 

end faq

 

 

 

 SureTrend Software 

  

Where can I download SureTrend software?

Go here: SureTrend Software Download Information

I have an old version of SureTrend software (3.0 or earlier). How can I update to the latest version?

Find details here: SureTrend Software Download Information

 

What OS is recommended for Hygiena's SureTrend Software?

See specifications here: SureTrend Software Download Information

 

Can I run SureTrend on a tablet?

Yes, as long as the tablet meets the hardware and software requirements listed above in "What OS is recommended for Hygiena's SureTrend Software?".
IMPORTANT: Windows RT tablets are not supported. 

Do I need to dedicate a database server to use SureTrend Version 4.0?

SureTrend Version 4.0 uses Microsoft SQL Server to store its data. By default SureTrend will install and use the Microsoft SQL Compact 3.5 edition for single and multi-user installations. You can upgrade the database to SQL Server Express and above, and then configure the SureTrend client to use your SQL server.

 

Is there a version of SureTrend for Mac?

No, SureTrend was designed for Windows, but you can run SureTrend on a Mac using software like Parallels or other virtualization software. The important requirement for the virtual machine is USB support. Some older versions of Parallels, VMWare, Microsoft Virtual PC do not support USB, so it is important to have a current version. If SureTrend is installed on a terminal server or if the user is remoting to the virtual machine, there may be issues with USB redirection.

 

Does SureTrend support Virtual Desktop or RDP?

SureTrend can run on a Windows Terminal Servier (RDS), Citrix, or other VNC software that will remote the COM port from the server to the desktop. Since SureTrend is running on the server, but the unit is connected to the desktop COM port, communication to the Unit is directed over the network. If your network latency is too high you may get COM port communication failures that require you to repeat the synchronization process with the Unit. Also, the SureTrend feature that automatically detects the COM port will not work and user must know the COM port used on the desktop.

 

Does SureTrend support virtualization such as Windows XP mode or VMWare?

SureTrend will run on virtualized version of Windows supported by SureTrend as long as the virtualization software supports COM ports or USB. Some users are running Windows 7 or 8 on their desktop computer, but spend most of their time in a Windows XP mode session to support other legacy applications in their organization. Having SureTrend run in the Windows XP mode helps the user stay in the Windows XP mode and not have to switch to the native desktop just to run SureTrend.

 

end faq

 

 

 Other Questions 

How can I get a Certificate of Compliance for a particular product or lot?

To download a Certificate of Compliance for a product, use the handy Certificate Search tool here

 

end faq