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versión On-line ISSN 2521-9766versión impresa ISSN 1405-3195

Agrociencia vol.41 no.5 México jul./ago. 2007



Detection of Escherichia Coli growth using infrared thermography

Guadalupe Hernández-Eugenio1 

Eliubi Echeverría-Landín1 

Federico Hahn Schlam1 

1 Departamento de Irrigación. Universidad Autónoma Chapingo, 56230. Chapingo, Estado de México. (


The determination of microbiological contamination should be rapid and should be measured in situ. In the present work, a rapid and portable methodology was developed for the detection of Escherichia coli, based on the analysis of infrared thermal images. Cultures of E. coli in classic agar LEVINE medium were photographed in thermal images, obtained by means of an infrared camera (IR). Two prototypes were coupled to the IR camera for the purpose of maintaining a constant temperature (37 °C) of the samples. The first of these radiated heat at the base of the samples, while the second heated the sample radially. The growth kinetic was followed by thermal images, resulting that the minimum detection time of microbial contamination was at 5 h of growth. The most adequate device was the one that provided heat at the base of the samples. In addition, prediction models were obtained for establishing bacterial presence with a prediction efficiency of 100%.

Key words: Escherichia coli; infrared camera; emissivity; radiometer

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Received: January 2007; Accepted: June 2007

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