MALDI-TOF Detection Technology

May 30, 2017

With MALDI-TOF technology, Symbio Laboratories shaves days off reporting times, providing confirmation for Listeria, Salmonella & Legionella in minutes once detected.

MALDI-TOF (Matrix Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionisation – Time of Flight) is a method of mass spectrometry used for the identification of difficult to culture bacteria, with a much shorter time frame than traditional, phenotypic and gene sequencing identification techniques.

With time being an extremely important factor in disease control, and ranging significantly for confirmation of different bacteria, the need for such near-instantaneous analysis has never been greater. MALDI-TOF allows for the detection of genus and species of micro-organisms in minutes, rather than days, once growth is detected.

MALDI-TOF Technology

How does the MALDI-TOF technology work?

MALDI-TOF scans the unique molecular “fingerprint” of a sample to match it against a database of species, accurately identifying the micro-organism at species and genus level. While the traditional phenotypic and gene sequencing identification techniques can require at least 3 further days for confirmation post-detection, with this technology, Symbio Laboratories is equipped to provide clients with the vital information they need to act, when they need it most.

MALDI-TOF Technology

Who does MALDI-TOF detection benefit?

Generally speaking, receiving faster analysis benefits everyone, regardless of industry.

For food processors, an extra 3 days notice for detection of Salmonella could save thousands in fines and loss of product. A faster turnaround of 3 days for hospitals and aged care facilities could prevent a catastrophic outbreak of Legionella, resulting in disastrous public perception, heavy penalties, and even loss of life.

This method of identification allows Symbio Laboratories to provide clients with the accurate analysis they require to ensure their products and environments are safe, faster, and helps ensure the safety of their workers and the Australian public

Celebrating 20th anniversary in August 2017

Symbio Laboratories is committed to investment in new technologies and processes such as MALDI-TOF to ensure their customers receive the best service possible, in the quickest possible time frame. As one of Australia’s largest privately owned & operated laboratory service providers, with experts throughout and a dedicated & qualified customer service team, Symbio Laboratories is proud to assist food processors in meeting their reporting requirements with the fastest turnaround times.


MALDI-TOF detection is an analytical technique for which Symbio Laboratories is NATA accredited for in the confirmation of Listeria, Salmonella and Legionella, as a service to their customers. Visit the team at Stand Y38 on Level 4 at foodpro to discuss more about their broadest scope of NATA accreditations in Australia.

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