Qualitative and quantitative methods

The Unit performs total viable counts, indicator organisms and pathogen counts and qualitative analysis based on ISO standards. Besides, counts of probiotics and lactic acid bacteria mixed in complex starters are provided by validated plate count methods. Some examples:


  • Total Viable Counts
  • Lactic Acid Bacteria Counts
  • Enterobacterioceae Counts
  • Mould and Yeasts Counts
  • Ad hoc analysis of indicators and pathogens

Fermented milks:

  • Streptococcus thermophilus
  • Lactobacillus delbrueckii subsp. bulgaricus
  • Lactobacillus casei
  • Lactobacillus acidophilus
  • Bifidobacterium spp.
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Enterobacteriaceae

Biochemical and enzymatic identification and characterization of microorganisms

The unit offers the following identification and characterization methods of microbiological strains:

  • Biochemical methods (commercial galleries)
  • Biogenic amines production
  • Bacteriocin production
  • Reuterin production
  • H2O2 production
  • D-Lactic acid / L-Lactic acid production (commercial galleries)

Hygiene control (preventive and corrective)

Good ambient conditions are essential in the biosafety level 2 laboratories. Thus, the Unit carries out the following periodical operations:

Maintenance of strains and cell cultures

CIAL Microorganisms Collection

The CIAL disposes of numerous microbiological strains of high scientific and technological value that have been obtained within research projects. Besides it counts with reference strains from national and international collections.

The Unit enables through maintenance and verification of -80ºC freezers and freeze dryers the correct preparation and storage of bacteria, moulds and yeasts belonging to the research groups. Besides, it counts with its own collection of strains required for positive and negative controls in microbiological analysis.

CIAL Cell Culture Collection

The cell culture collection consists of various human and animal cell lines such as Caco-2, Monocytes, Vero Cells, Fibroblasts etc. obtained from national and international collections. The cells are stored in liquid nitrogen tanks at -196ºC.

Microbiological service at the BAT Unit.

Location and contact

Instituto de Investigación en Ciencias de la Alimentación (CIAL)
c/ Nicolás Cabrera, 9
28049 Madrid

Biosafety Level 2 Laboratories (P2)
Telephone: 91 0017900 (ext 805)
Responsible technician Elena Berciano (e.berciano@csic.es)

Functions of the service

The BAT unit maintains and verifies laboratories and equipment, performs microbiological analysis, identifies and characterizes microorganisms and supplies strains and cell cultures.

Operating rules