Products: Sherlock™ Microbial ID System: Fatty Acid Analysis, PLFA & Bacterial ID

The Sherlock™ Microbial Identification System (MIS) was launched in 1991 and represents a rapid, accurate and inexpensive solution for the identification of over 1,500 microbial species, fatty acids and PLFAs by GC-FAME analysis. The Sherlock MIS is recognized by the U.S. CDC for the identification of aerobic bacteria and is AOAC INTERNATIONAL cleared for the identification of Bacillus anthracis, the anthrax pathogen. The Sherlock MIS was created for ease of us, so no GC experience is necessary.

In 2007 MIDI released Sherlock Instant FAME™ (I-FAME), a base-catalyzed GC-FAME extraction and analysis method.  I-FAME is most useful for Gram-positive environmental aerobes and FAME analysis of non-microbes (e.g. animal tissue, edible oils, biofuel feedstocks, etc.).  The turnaround time (TAT) for IFAME is less than
15 minutes.

Q-FAME procedure

In 2011 MIDI released Sherlock Q-FAME™ (Q-FAME), an acid-catalyzed GC-FAME extraction and analysis method.  Q-FAME is most useful for Aerobic bacteria of importance to pharmaceutical QC (including all USP 61/62 strains), as well as clinical reference laboratories.  The turnaround time (TAT) for Q-FAME is less than 25 minutes.

In addition to microbial ID, the Sherlock MIS can be used to analyze fatty acids and related compounds from soil (e.g. PLFA), edible oils (FAMEs & Sterols) and omega-3 fatty acids (Fish Oil), thereby increasing the systems utility.

In 2012, MIDI released the Sherlock PLFA™ Method and Tools Package (PLFAD1). PLFAD1 names over 150 PLFAs and related compounds and can be used for fatty acid analysis from any source.

What makes the Sherlock MIS unique is that it can be used for both fatty acid analysis (e.g. soil PLFAs, edible oils) and microbial identification. The system is U.S. FDA 21CFR Part 11 compliant and IQ/OQ packages are available to aid with system validation.

Key Features of the Sherlock MIS include:

  • Fatty acid analysis (FAME, PLFA) and Microbial ID.
  • Automated analysis and naming.
  • Inexpensive per sample cost.
  • Throughput over 100 samples per day.
  • No biochemical kits or cards (microbial ID).
  • Polyphasic Analysis with Sherlock DNA (microbial ID)
  • Proven reliability and warranty.


Contact MIDI for further information on the Sherlock MIS System.