Aseptic Inline Sampling System FAQs

Below you will find answers to the questions we get asked most about our aseptic and representative sampling system. Be sure to visit our blog for additional information shared by subject matter experts (SMEs) or our case studies and validation studies pages for more in-depth information.

QualiTru Sampling Systems FAQs

Yes. Please visit our Distributor List to find an approved QualiTru product representative near you.

QualiTru strives to maintain next-day shipping on in-stock items.  We ship via UPS and Federal Express.

QualiTru TruStream Septa should be stored in a clean, cool, dry area away from extreme temperatures.  Recommended length of storage should not exceed two years.

Yes, Qualitru’s TruStream Septum can be left in place during the CIP cycle and has been validated at a combined 250°F, 100psi for 100 hours.

Yes.  Please call to obtain more information on the QualiTru stainless steel ports that will work best for your individual application.  Lead time on custom fittings is approximately six weeks.

Yes, you can install a QualiTru stainless steel port on a straight pipe or a T. However, the preferred sampling location is at an elbow because the turbulent flow allows for a more representative sample to be obtained. An elbow location also allows for proper CIP cleaning.

Yes, they are compatible, but they are NOT interchangeable. 

Technical Spec Sheets:

Our Proper Needle Insertion into QualiTru Septum provides step-by-step instructions for proper needle insertion into our septum. Our Septa Best Practices guide provides additional information for using the QualiTru Septum.

Additional Resources:

Hand-tighten the nut, then tighten an additional 1/8 turn with a wrench. This creates a tight seal to prevent leaking. DO NOT over tighten as this can damage the septum.

NOTE: The nut may need to be re-tightened periodically due to vibration and cleaning cycles.

Click here for QualiTru’s Video Training Center.

Yes, QualiTru’s technologies are directly cited in Section 6 of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) ’s Grade “A” Pasteurized Milk Ordinance (PMO) as an approved inline aseptic sampling system required for the collection of representative samples directly from farm bulk milk tanks or silos prior to the milk being transported for processing. Click Here for Regulatory Approvals.

Aseptic and Representative Sampling FAQs

Aseptic inline sampling means collecting samples through a process that has been designed to mitigate the potential introduction of external contaminants and perform process monitoring in dairy and liquid food processing settings. It can be used to perform pen, group or string sampling, identify potential microbial contamination, verify clean-in-place (CIP) cycles, and perform direct load and line sampling for overall diagnostic, system quality, and milk quality monitoring.

Aseptic inline sampling involves installing a series of stainless steel ports at critical control points (CCP) along the line.

Sterile, multi-channel septa are installed inside the ports, allowing samples of the milk to be aseptically drawn via syringe into a collection unit for refrigeration and testing. The disposable septa, which feature either seven or twelve channels, are designed for single use-per-channel,  mitigating the potential for contaminating the sample by the sampling process.

The collection units are equipped with a needle and tubing that provide a sterile fluid path for the milk collection.

For continuous flow sampling, the collection unit tubing is configured to pass through an electric or portable peristaltic pump so that a representative sample can be collected over an entire process run.

Resources: Application Site Training Schematics

Aseptic inline sampling can collect either a grab sample — drawing a sample in a single “moment-in-time,” usually with milk that’s already been homogenized — or a representative sample over an entire column, which is the preferred method when dealing with raw milk.

With aseptic inline sampling on a dairy farm, it is also possible to draw representative samples from either a group of cows or an entire pen of cows, as well as to sample from various locations sections within the physical milking line, based on the placement of the stainless steel ports.

Inline samples are aseptically gathered to detect microbial contamination in raw fluids and verify components in liquids. The system is also used in overall product quality assurance testing, allowing for universal sample collection from bulk or silo tanks after agitation.

QualiTru Systems can be used to collect representative samples of milk while the truck is being unloaded at the receiving bay, as well as at critical control points throughout the process for performing diagnostics, system quality checks, CIP cleanliness checks, and to gather samples for overall milk quality testing. In cheesemaking, the system may be used for collecting aseptic and representative samples to perform whey analysis for regulatory or quality testing, as well as to perform process monitoring and solids analysis.

Aseptic inline sampling systems may be used to gather samples to assess water supply quality, including ion and microbial contamination counts, to determine sample gravity and turbidity during processing and fermentation, as well as filtering effectiveness, and to perform final product sampling as needed.

A grab sample is small in volume, generally taken with a sterile syringe, and is not collected over time. It is a ‘snapshot’ of the process or product. For example, a grab sample taken off the pasteurizer reflects the product moving through at that moment and is not a sample of the entire run.

A representative sample is larger in volume and collected over time through a sterile pathway and into a sterile bag or other collection devices. The sample is representative of an entire column of milk or process. Using a peristaltic pump for collection improves the accuracy and representation of the sample.

A representative sample is larger in volume and collected over time through a sterile pathway and into a sterile bag or other collection devices. The sample is representative of an entire column of milk or process. Using a peristaltic pump for collection improves the accuracy and representation of the sample.

How do I decide between a grab sample and a representative sample?

A representative sample should be used to test raw milk. Raw milk stratifies over time, which means the milkfat, somatic cells, and bacteria rise to the top. Therefore, agitation is required because the milk components are not mixed homogeneously due to the large volume of tanks and trucks. So, a raw milk sample taken from the top of a tank or truck does not accurately measure the entire milk column.

The longer the milk is in a tank or a tanker truck, the greater the degree of stratification, even with agitation. Using representative sampling helps ensure that payment and analysis are based on accurate data. Eliminating agitation also saves time, increasing efficiency at the receiving bay. A representative sample is also critical for accurate inline processing to monitor post-pasteurization contamination and chemicals.

In addition, the representative sample is crucial for verifying microbiological or Standard Plate Counts (SPC) and documenting Critical Control Points (CCP) to ensure the equipment meets specifications and an optimized system. For Clean in Place (CIP), representative sampling can help verify hygiene effectiveness. Representative sampling is also effective for troubleshooting by setting up strategic sample points to compare bacteria counts throughout the process.

A grab sample should be limited to pasteurized and homogenized milk testing. When using a grab sample for pasteurized and homogenized milk, the purpose is to determine bacterial contamination.

Since the milk is no longer stratified, the milkfat is evenly distributed, and the somatic cells have been removed. Therefore, grab sampling may be used for microbiological or chemical sampling on pasteurized/homogenized milk silos and at the sampling location at the filler.

While manually drawn or “dipped” samples are commonly taken at the bulk tank, silo or hauler tank, these are always grab samples and thus not truly representative of the overall components of the raw milk, which can impact payment. Because the sample is so limited, it may inaccurately convey the relative quality, SCC counts or presence of any contaminating elements in the actual tank or silo. The potential for introducing outside contaminants while the individual is performing manual dipping is always a risk.