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Still in the new year fever, we take a look at Certified Reference Materials and what the advantages of using them in our microbiology laboratories are.

ISO 17034 defines a reference material as material that is “sufficiently homogenous and stable with respect to one or more specified properties, which has been established to be fit for its intended use in a measurement process. Properties can be quantitative or qualitative (e.g., identity of substances or species).” A CRM is different from a reference material in that it is accompanied by a certificate, has metro-logical traceability, and each property value has an uncertainty value assigned to it.


Advantages and Uses

As technology improves over time, the ability and need to measure more precisely and accurately increases. This drives the need for better reference materials to be used in testing and calibration. CRMs provide metro-logical traceability and known uncertainty for the property values of the material. CRMs can ensure reliable measurements for users. Traceability is provided via a certificate that documents the property values, the uncertainty, and the authoritative issuing body.


Common Uses of CRMs Include:

Method validation. A laboratory or factory may need to validate the methods or equipment used for measuring or detecting a substance. A CRM may be used to validate the measurement method or the ability to detect a substance.

Method verification. A laboratory may need to check the process at any time to ensure the process is continuing to measure and detect as initially validated. For example, a CRM can be used to check a process and determine if a non-conformance has occurred and troubleshooting is necessary.

Calibration. CRMs that are a pure substance can be utilized for calibration of equipment, which is intended to detect or measure that substance, or the CRM can be used as an independent check of the calibration.

Method monitoring or process control. CRMs can be used continuously to provide evidence that processes are stable and continue to measure and detect as required.

Training. A laboratory may use CRMs to train and/or evaluate operators by using a substance that has a known identity and property values.


CRM in Microbiology

Detection and control of microorganisms in food processing applications may require the use of CRMs. We look forward to helping you reach the best quality testing results and process control you require this year with our Microbiologic Certified reference material line, for microbiology. If your laboratory uses CRMs, contact us to get the strains you need for QC in easy-to-use qualitative and quantitative formats.


For more information, contact Meloncia Hoko on Cell: +263-82794894/+263-773775739 |

Tel: +263-242-746135 | Email: | Skype ID: melonciahoko |

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