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Lallemand Animal Nutrition and CEA develop technology to quantify live yeast in feeds

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Lallemand Animal Nutrition partnered with CEA to design NUMCELL, a technology to quantify live yeast cells within a range of feed materials, free from the time-constraints of culture-based numeration techniques. This new tool is based on CEA Lensfree imaging technology. After several years of development, NUMCELL can now be used by Lallemand analysis laboratory to speed up analysis processes, with a goal of continuous improvement of customer support services.

“Our customer analysis department processes thousands of analyses a year and increasing our throughput is key to improve our customer’s experience. Having benchmarked many techniques for quantifying microorganisms, we selected the technology developed by CEA for its robustness and high potential. After several years of development, we now have a new tool, easy to implement and much faster than the conventional microbiological count. The numeration of live yeast cells within any feed type (pellets, mash and more) can now be achieved automatically with a dedicated software. We just entered a new phase of the project aimed at automatizing and improving the processing flow in a view to always improve support to our feed industry partners,” said Mathieu Castex, R&D director Lallemand Animal Nutrition.

“The NUMCELL project is based on our Lensfree technology. The system operates with a semi-coherent light emitted by a LED that is diffracted by the microorganisms being analyzed to generate a holographic pattern captured by a CMOS image sensor. An artificial intelligence software then detects and quantifies microorganisms. For the needs of our partner, our teams in Toulouse and at CEA-Leti in Grenoble have fine-tuned the device's technology. It now makes it possible to observe a wide range of cells and bacteria or viruses relevant to him and his customers in order to study biological cultures and detect events that are difficult to perceive under a standard microscope,” said Thomas Bordy, biotech research engineer at CEA.

For more information about the NUMCELL project, watch this video.


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