Masticator machine, IUL’s laboratory blender for profound homogenization

IUL’ laboratory blender, known as Masticator, carries out a profound homogenization which makes it possible to obtain a sample perfectly representative of the food, drug, cosmetic, or any kind of material that has to be analyzed.

Its working principle lies behind the use of bags made of strong polyethylene or other plastics, inside which the original sample and the diluent liquid are placed. The Masticator acts upon the plastic bag with the sample and the diluent, the sides of the bag, are perfectly sealed, without soiling or contaminating any part of the sample.

Besides this, IUL’s laboratory blender works with the minimum amount of noise and without the necessity of cleaning between samples. This masticator machine offers a large list of benefits for sample homogenization that microbiology laboratories can take advantage of.


Masticator machine for homogenization


The Masticator paddle blenders enable thorough homogenization of samples while isolating them from any possible contamination. Furthermore, these blenders disperse samples inside sterile bags with paddles that drive a squashing action while moving the sample from side to side.

This step is a cornerstone in the preparation of samples, ensures a homogeneous distribution of microorganisms throughout the diluent. Several models encompass a wide array of advantages and possibilities.

On the whole, any food, cosmetic, pharmaceutical, and clinical laboratories that seek reliable homogenization that is cross-contamination-free can enjoy the solution that offers the laboratory blender of IUL’s technology guaranteeing a safe and efficient homogenization.

Main advantages and benefits of iul’s laboratory blender

The principal advantages that IUL’s laboratory blender can offer are the following ones:

  • No sample cross-contamination: as it has been said, samples are completely protected from any contamination during the homogenization process thanks to the use of sterile disposable bags.

  • Endurance: the Masticator machine high-quality enduring motors has proven to withstand the most challenging blending procedures. Customers benefit from a 3-year warranty for any masticator blender.

  • Ease of use: no maintenance is required, and it can be easily cleaning when fully removing their front door.

Masticator machine application scope

Masticator lab blenders are used in homogenizations during microbiological testing. Food, cosmetic and pharmaceutical labs usually use 400 ml Masticator blenders, these are meant to homogenize from 10 to 40 g (previously diluted) samples. Meanwhile, 80 ml Masticator machine compact models are more appealing to clinical and life science labs involved in small sample tissue homogenization (<10g), and to industrial QC labs that process small weight samples (<10g). Panoramic and Compact models let homogenization monitoring through windows located in their doors.

The Maxicator completes IUL’s paddle blender range, allowing the blending of large composite samples.

The Masticator machine was launched in 1987 to provide a robust, friendly, and economic solution to a problem that microbiological labs face since years ago. With more than 30 years in the market, the Masticator has been the perfect instrument for small, medium, and large laboratories.

How to process diluted samples

With the homogenized sample coming from the Masticator we start the plating. Different strategies of inoculation are available however, some of them are more efficient than others.  

The Eddy Jet W2 spiral plating, another of IUL’s best technologies, is a rapid plating method and it is used to reduce the number of plates that are processed, offering a threefold dilution concentration gradient in a single plate, allowing labs to skip serial dilutions and most plating.

After incubation, plates are automatically counted with the SphereFlash® or a manual colony counter.

The importance of sampling: microbiological analysis

Sampling for microbiological analysis purposes is challenging, that is why having the right technology through all the process is going to be crucial. It should be carried out under sterile conditions and the sample has to be representative. To achieve these both points and to obtain a good extraction of the possible microbiological contamination is usually performed by applying mechanical forces and working with machines such as the Masticator, the perfect laboratory mixer.

With all of this, getting a representative sample and, at the same time, preventing the development of possible microorganisms is essential for microbiological analysis. When the material to analyze is not immediately dispersed in water, the sample has to be shaken or homogenized with a diluent in a bottle or bag. In this case, it is necessary to have a liquid sample that has a bacterial content that is representative of a solid, semi-solid, paste, or powdery original material.

At this point, the importance of getting a representative sample is especially delicate and it is key to achieve good microbiological control. Despite the emergence of novel molecular and high-throughput detection methods, the recovery, isolation, and enumeration of bacterial pathogens in food are still primarily based on culture techniques, the current gold standard in the field.

Getting a representative and sterile sample

One of the most important working areas for IUL Instruments is the food industry, which is why Masticators work to simplify the microbiological testing and make possible the obtention of a homogenized sample that is representative of the whole food. 

In general, the homogenization process involves the original substance and the support liquid or diluent being brought into close contact to establish a balance in the microbiological content of both. This process can allow reaching a good representative sample even with those materials that could show inner-matrix contamination.

For example, some pathogens are not necessary homogeneously distributed throughout the entire matrix. Little is known about the distribution of bacterias through the product or whether they are only present on the surface. For this reason, it is very important to acquire a representative sample to be analyzed.

Another important topic is the sterility of the samples, other than making sure that the sample to homogenize is representative of what we are going to analyze, it is just as essential as getting a sterilized sample. To guarantee the sterility of the sample is important to work with the optimal quantity of sample as BAM explains here to avoid contaminations and guarantee good handling of the sample.

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