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3M: 3M Petrifilm Plates | 3M

This technology appears groundbreaking from a design for environment perspective, saves organizational time and operating expenses, does not diminish product safety or quality. A great blend of lean and green in a highly regulated market space.

3M’s Petrifilm Plates are used by food and beverage manufacturers to test production samples for bacteria such as E.coli, salmonella, and staphylococcus aureus. Created for use by food processors, reference labs, and government labs around the world, they are shelf stable and nearly as thin as paper.

When compared to traditional petri-dish and agar methods, 3M Petrifilm Plates use 75% less energy and 80% less water, emit 75% less greenhouse gas and produce 66% less waste, 3M says. In addition, they cut labor costs by an average of 45% and deliver an average increase of 80% efficiency in quality assurance personnel. Results are also delivered in half the time of traditional agar methods and use 85% less space from the bench top to the incubator.

In developing Petrifilm Plates, 3M conducted a life cycle analysis study to examine the reductions in energy demand, blue water consumption, and greenhouse gas emissions. By using 3M Petrifilm Plates instead of agar plates in 2015, food processing industry customers saved more than 46 million gallons of water, 436 million MJ of energy, and 33 million kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent greenhouse gas in customer use and disposal as well as 10 million pounds of regulated waste, the company said.