Microbial spoilage takes its toll on operations and reputation 

despite the increases in technology, spending and industry guidances !!

Maybe more of what does not work will not work better ? 

Pinqkerton looking at this "opportunity for improvement" from another angle and has developed a solution we would like you to test with us. 

Good data history is key to understand what is going on in a process, preventing issues and solving them quickly when they arise. 

Too often technical skills in microbiology are considered more important that process skills to generate good data, so those test are done in the lab.

But a lab is more distant from the process than an operator so when a lab does the tests, potentially important process information can be lost 

We believe the highest quality data comes from those closest to the action...who are also in the best position to do something with it 

We want to help you build good data, painlessly

What if there was a way for any operator to sample at the right point and time to seamlessly capture all the process and testing relevant information ?

Wouldn't the data history be significantly more powerful ?

What we would like you to challenge with us :

- A smartphone application designed to be easy to use by an operator on site.

- A « sensor » i.e. a single-use sampling and testing device, self-contained and which holds in a pocket.

The combination is designed to automate and secure the monitoring program (reminders) , the sampling and testing (tutorials/protocols) with unprecedented traceability.

The functionalities to try and let us know how to make smoother

The application is a data collection tool

Some functionalities are applicable to other devices than B-nomad testers:

- Test reminders are planned in the Smartphone calendar

- For routine tests, pre-recording of specific user guidance

- Taking pictures of the sampling point and/or the sampling, picking sampling point ID from a menu, automatic recording of time and GPS..

- Easy recording of test related information: sampling time, process conditions, incubation conditions

- Automatic assistance for colony counting

- Voice recording of operator comments

- Export of test parameters and test results

Other functionalities  are currently only available with B-nomad testers, made possible thanx to their QRCode label containing a UDI (Unique Device Identifier):

- Pen-less association of a test device with a sampling point

- Automatic récognitif of device type and targettes microorganisms, check of expiry date 

- Pen-less association of a swab with a test device, when testing surfaces

The application purpose is to increase the result trustworthiness by simplifying, automating and tracking the test 

for a busy operator, who has other imperatives to deal with and limited microbiology skills

The ideal test candidate

We are looking for candidates who monitor (or want to) their processes, hygiene procedures or environment.

We want to develop a flexible, adaptable application and are hoping for a diversity of profiles: from organisations that don't test in-house at all to well resourced organisations who do off-site testing, offering services or products....

Predominantly, we are looking for candidate sites in Europe and North America, small/medium size organisations who do not have an internal lab. 

Large companies who conduct field tests are also welcome.

All activities exposed to a risk of microbial spoilage are of interest for the trial: 

- Beverage producers

- Healthcare e.g. hospitals, dentists

- Food, from farm to fork

- Maintenance of water purification systems e.g. research, laboratory, 

- Facilities e.g. water treatment plants, cooling towers, ..

- Energy e.g. oil rigs, treatment plants

- Clean environments e.g. for medical device manufacturing, cell culture, micro-electronics, …

- Logistics/ transport e.g. organ or blood transportation, cruise ships, ports,

- Cleaning and sanitation services

An experimental mind set is desirable as you will be dealing with prototypes : the first version of an App and hand made devices. 

They will be functional and carefully checked, but ..we have things to learn together

Reasons you might want to participate:

- Involve process operators in quality improvement project

- Obtain new or more information on your activities 

- Compare microbial monitoring techniques and protocols 

- Influence the App so that it best fits your needs 

- Last but not least: have fun participating in the democratization of microbiology controls 

This program is limited to a maximum of 15 beta sites, unfortunately.

We don't think we can manage more with the appropriate level of care and attention

Trail Outline

Appart from the App, the trial involves using B-nomad microbial control devices which are autonomous, simple and dependable, to sample and test on-site or off-site. 

The nomad used during the trail will carry a QRCode encoded with an UDI (unique Device Identifier) designed to work with the application, ensuring easy, pen-less and complete traceability.

No specific equipment, lab nor technique are required. 

The application 

- Is designed to simplify and automate routine testing as well as campaign/audit testing we call hotspot detection.

- Its information management process allows for testing, reading and result analysis to be conducted separately i.e. by different individuals at different times.

- The mobile App is designed to work as a Stand-Alone App., although its value will be enhanced by a web application (in development, not available during this trial). 

In a degraded mode, the App is thought to be compatible with different types of test devices 

We will ask that you experience all the functionalities of the mobile application, including: 

- Routine testing and Hotspot investigation

- Testing of liquid samples and of surfaces 

- Use the App with another testing device of your choice e.g.Dip-Slides (if possible) 

- Use the App. automatic colony counting feature 

- Upload pictures and their metadata to our server 

- Use the tutorials 

- Challenge the App. : unreadable QRCode, expired device, attempted use of a wrong device, .. 

- Try anything that might be useful to you and the App might do

A Beta Test Monitoring plan will be provided to help cover a large variety of the possible field situations, while you choose the sampling points and conditions of interest to you. 

During the test period, we should try and stay in touch on a weekly basis, to answer any questions and hear your comments. 

You will have access to a Freshdesk support plateform were you can register tickets if: 

- you see a bug (in the App)

- want to make suggestions on the ergonomics

 - want to dump ideas

The 9 week test period, starting early March 2020 is divided in 3 phases:

- Initial evaluation

- App upgrade

- Second evaluation

At the end of the test period, we will ask for a debrief during which all your comments are welcome without restriction. A questionnaire will be provided which we you can answer at your convenience or preferably by phone/video.

The test plan

Our objective is to develop the most user-friendly and cost-effective system for environmental, hygiene and process microbial monitoring. 

By achieving this, we believe the adoption of the system by resource-constrained organisations should result in substantial improvements in contamination prevention, efficiency and compliance facilitation.

The Beta-Testing planning

Preparation - 1 week before the trial start

- Supply necessary material, including the starter box 

- identify a Smartphone (Android 5 or later) for the download

- Video call for demo of device and any questions

- NDA (optional, at your discretion)

First 3 week period

- Implementation of the Beta Test Monitoring Plan, after you have downloaded the application and received a Beta Test Starter Box

At the end of that period, user feed-back is consolidated.

- Testing can continue with Beta Site Test Boxes if desired 

Second 3 week period

- Our development team improves the App based on the feedback received 

- Testing can continue with Beta Site Test Boxes if desired 

Last 3 week period

 - The improved App is available for download and comments 

- Testing of improved App with Beta Site Test Boxes

- At the end of that period : complete debrief on the experience

Materials required for the Beta-Test

- Equipment for normal /usual security procedures

- Appropriate personal protection for on-site sampling, in particular if you intend to sample from a control point you have never sampled from before

- A Smartphone running on Android Version 5 or above
(at this stage of development, the application is not available on iPhone)

- nomad testers labeled with QRCodes containing Unique Device Identifiers

- A connection to internet, which is not necessary for the sampling and testing on-site, but for synchronisation once per day

- User instructions

- A 15 minute training conducted by video to review the device handling and answer any questions

- A beta test monitoring plan


Are supplied by Pinqkerton

- The phone application (download),

- QRCode labelled nomad testers (see « Terms » below), 

- User instructions in English or French, and 

- The initial Beta-Test monitoring plan

Are not supplied: equipment for personnel protection, Smartphone, other test devices than nomad, access to internet, video communication equipment 

Application boundaries

- The prototype devices are similar to the nomad HPC for total count (information below).

  The media supports growth of oxygen tolerant bacteria, yeast and mold.

   The device draws 1 ml of sample from 18 ml.

Filterable liquids and surface can readily be tested with the nomad testers. 

- For testing of liquids, it is suitable for levels of contamination from 1 to 300 cfu/ml
i.e most hygiene, environmental and many process monitoring applications

- For testing of surfaces, it is suitable for levels of contamination from 20 to 5 000 cfu / per swabbed surface

- Pastes, suspensions, emulsions, small parts such as caps, can also be tested provided some sample preparation.

If a product you would like to test (i) requires sample preparation, or (ii) contains a preservative or any component with bacteriostatic effect, that needs to be neutralised, diluted or eliminated prior to testing, we will gladly provide advice but will not provide written protocols for such sample prep


We will ask that you:

- Choose some of control points that are relevant to you and test them regularly in an identical fashion using the « Routine Test » mode. 

In this mode, the sampling/testing information are pre-set for the user to follow (whereas in the Hotspot mode, specific sample/testing information has to be entered.

Since the web application is not yet available, defining a routine test with the mobile App consists in characterizing a Hot-Spot test, which can then become a template for routine testing and be repeated.

- Choose an investigation that is meaningful to you e.g. verifying a sample transport procedure or trouble shooting an equipment and do the relevant testing

- Conduct all the tests types described in the Beta-Test protocol template

- Share that information with us prior to the trail

- Share your results, comments and ideas for improvement on a weekly basis

- Upload the improved application if/when they come available during the test period

Your time involvement (estimated)

- Reading the Test Protocol Template, deciding which test you want to do (frequency, sampling points,..) - 30-60 minutes

- Pre-defining one or more routine tests in the Smartphone - 3-10’

- User training (demo & explanation): 15’

- Setting the parameters for a Hotspot test, on the fly : 1-3 minutes

- Each sampling + test, by the User :1 to 2 minutes (parameters are predefined)

- Each observation, by the User, will take 1-2 minutes

- Validating the report, by the User or Manager, should take 1-3 minutes


- Pinqkerton will supply the phone applications, necessary documents and training at no charge.

- The Beta Site Starter Box containing the 25 first devices necessary for the Beta Test monitoring plan are provided for 25 €/$ per box

- Up to 3 additional Beta Site Test Boxes, containing each 25 prototype devices can be purchased for 100 €/$ per box

- We do not supply the Smartphone nor ancillary expendable such as gloves, sampling cane, dilution buffer..

- No matter what're will treat your information as confidential. Should you require a Non Disclosure Agreement, we can provide our NDA template or sign your. 

The devices

Item Number: BNSB TTC 25 

Short Description : Starter box of 25 mixed prototype B-nomad Testers

Containing 19 testers and 6 swabs, ready-to-use: 

For practice:1 standard nomad HPC for liquids1 standard nomad kit for surfaces (1 swab + 1 tester) 

For a test in triplicate on a liquid:3 B-nomad HPC testers with QRCode & UDIFor a test in triplicate on a suface:3 B-nomad HPC kits with QRCode & UDI (3 swabs + 3 testers) 

For a test on an alternative target - simulate device type error:1 B-nomad tester for Yeast & Mold with QRCode & UDI 

For a test with expired device - expired device warning functionality:1 expired B-nomad tester for Coliforms with QRCode & UDI 

For hotspot investigation - a finger + purified water + liquid sample + surface:2 B-nomad HPC testers + 2 B-nomad HPC kits with QRCode & UDI (4 testers + 2 swabs) 

For a routine test - same sampling point at different times & conditions:5 B-nomad HPC testers with QRCode & UDI 

General information 

The red B-nomad Testers contain m-HPC medium for recovery of starved, heat or chemically stressed as well as non stressed aerobic microorganismsMicroorganism Appearance :Bacteria colonies appear glistening and translucent or transparent, circular or irregular in shape, with colours varying from colourless to white, cream yellow or occasionally pigmented. Yeast colonies appear satiny, opaque, white. Mold colonies often appear filamentous whitish grey, with fuzzy edges. They usually turn into a different color, from the center outwards

Applications: Hygiene monitoringEnvironmental monitoringWater monitoringProcess MonitoringMedical centerDental UnitsPublic inspection 

Incubation Conditions : Room temperature for up 7 days 

Storage Temperature : Room temperature or below 

Shelf Life (at delivery) : > 6 months 

Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) :These products are a mixture which is not a hazardous according to Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008 

Package Dimensions (H x W x D) :90 x 185 x 108 mm3 1/2 x 7 1/4 x 4 1/4 inch

Item Number : BNBB TTC 25 

Short Description : 1 Box of 25 red B-nomad Testers with QRCode and UDITarget : HPC Total Count in liquids 

Description :The red B-nomad Testers contain m-HPC medium for recovery of starved, heat or chemically stressed as well as non stressed aerobic microorganisms 

Microorganism Appearance :Bacteria colonies appear glistening and translucent or transparent, circular or irregular in shape, with colours varying from colourless to white, cream yellow or occasionally pigmented. Yeast colonies appear satiny, opaque, white. Mold colonies often appear filamentous whitish grey, with fuzzy edges. They usually turn into a different color, from the center outwards 

Applications :Hygiene monitoringEnvironmental monitoringWater monitoringProcess MonitoringMedical centerDental UnitsPublic inspection 

Incubation Conditions :Non stressed microorganisms : room temperature to 35 °C for 48-72 hrsStressed microorganisms : room temperature for 7 daysStorage Temperature : Room temperature or below 

Shelf Life (at delivery date) : >6 months 

Filter Material : Mixed Cellulose EstersFilter Type : 0,45 µm - Black - GriddedDevice Material :Paddle : PolyethyleneChamber : SAN 

Material Data Safety Sheet (MSDS) :This product is a mixture which is not a hazardous according to Regulation (EC) No. 1272/2008 

Package Description : 1 box of 25 Testers

Package Dimensions (H x W x D) :90 x 185 x 108 mm3 1/2 x 7 1/4 x 4 1/4 inch 

Package Weight :490 gr.17 1/4 oz.

When you enroll in the program, we will provide you a promotional code to order the devices for

- Beta Site Starter Box : 25€ / 25 Devices

- Beta Site Test Box : 100 € /25 Devices 

About Us

25% of world’s food production is lost to microbial contamination, 

5% of complications in healthcare settings could be avoided with better hygiene procedures, 

each year over 15 million tourists get sick while traveling…

Despite increases in regulations, laboratory spend, technology performances, these trends are not improving.

We believe tools to prevent microbial contaminations are missing in the hands of those who can make a difference. 

Our project is to help you change that.

The Pinqkerton founders combine over 50 years of microbial monitoring experience in industrial settings

Pinqkerton is a start-up company supported by SEMIA incubator, the French Grand-Est Region and the BPI investment bank.

Next Steps

Learn more about the nomad devices

(the B-nomad devices are the same, but for the QRCode)

Complete the survey (optional initially)

Contact us if you want to join, we will be happy to hear from you


1 rue d'Oslo

Espace Européen de l'Entreprise



Interested ?

Thank you, we are looking forward to collaborating with you on this project ! 

If you have any questions, comments or simply want to state you want to join the beta-test, feel free to drop us a line and we will get back to you as soon as we can.