Bacillus cereus agar (PEMBA) is used for the selective isolation and enumeration of Bacillus cereus in food samples. It is said to be particularly suitable for the detection of small numbers of Bacillus cereus particularly in the presence of other contaminating organisms. Bacillus cereus agar (PEMBA) is based on the formulation developed by Holbrook and Anderson.
The peptone provides the required carbon, nitrogen and vitamins. Mannitol is a fermentable carbohydrate. Bromothymol blue is a pH indicator used to detect mannitol fermentation. Sodium chloride maintains the osmotic balance. Magnesium sulphate provides divalent cations and sulphate. Di-sodium hydrogen phosphate and potassium dihydrogen phosphate are buffering agents. Egg yolk emulsion (BM0140) must be added to this media to assess lecithinase production. Sodium pyruvate is present to improve egg yolk precipitation and enhance B. cereus sporulation. The medium is made selective by the inclusion of polymyxin B sulphate (LS1051).