Company News

COPAN Diagnostics Launching First Fully Automated Instrument for Preparing Pour Plate Total Viable Counts (TVCs) at IAFP 2017

July 9, 2017


COPAN Diagnostics, Inc. will unveil “MilkyWay,” the first fully automated instrument for preparing pour plate total viable bacterial counts on liquid samples, at the International Association for Food Protection Annual Conference in Tampa, Florida today. The conference runs from July 9, 2017 through July 11, 2017. The “MilkyWay” instrument draws from COPAN’s extensive experience in automation and culture of innovation.

The new instrument fully automates the pour plate method for performing total viable bacterial counts on liquid samples. The Copan “MilkyWay” on display at IAFP was specifically adapted for processing dairy samples. The application on display at IAFP mixes molten agar with the sample. After it cools down, the mixture is set and then overlaid with another layer of agar.

“MilkyWay” is the first instrument of its class and can be customized to perform more widespread applications that involve mixing liquid or liquefied samples with molten agar for traditional pour plate Total Viable Counts (TVCs). The system utilizes an onboard Hamilton pipetting engine for aliquoting and dispensing samples, while simultaneously an agar media dispenser mixes the sample with molten agar within a petri dish.

For regular pour plate TVCs this is where the process would normally end but the “MilkyWay” includes the option to add a second layer of molten agar once the initial sample/agar mixture has set.

The fact that we can fully automate the manual Pour Plate Method and bring standardization with a high-volume throughput capability is exciting,” said Norman Sharples, COPAN Diagnostics CEO. “This instrument is particularly advantageous to Quality Control Labs that perform a high number of TVC testing on liquid or liquefied samples. It will improve not only quality control but is also a cost-saving and efficient method for processing samples.”

Please stop by booth #1031 during IAFP for a demonstration of this new instrument.


About COPAN Group

With a reputation for innovation, Copan is a worldwide leader in the manufacturing of collection and transport systems. Copan carries a wide range of environmental sampling products for the food, beverage, hospital and pharmaceutical industries. For more information, visit