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By Nicole - 6th May, 2022 | Posted in All sector
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ATP Testing is an essential part of the cleaning process in several industries across the globe. From healthcare to hospitality, checking for ATP assures the day-to-day running of a facility remains smooth and operates as it should.

What is ATP (Adenosine Triphosphate)?

Adenosine Triphosphate, more commonly known as ATP, is an energy molecule found in all living cells that allows cellular metabolism to take place. ATP is found in all forms of organic matter.

There are many forms of organic matter residing on surfaces in healthcare settings, such as bodily fluids, blood, and bacteria. Any organic matter left on surfaces could become a point of cross-contamination between staff and patients, potentially leading to HAIs (Hospital Acquired Infections), if cleaning isn’t correctly undertaken.  

What is ATP Hygiene Monitoring?

An ATP test is used to measure ATP levels on a surface, assessing the performance of a cleaning process beyond visible means.

ATP Hygiene Monitoring is a measure taken to verify cleaning practices (including physical cleaning and sterilisation/disinfection) that provides accurate results to define, monitor, and maintain cleaning standards within a facility. 

An ATP monitoring system provides a scientific measure of total cleanliness, giving users a quantitative reading regarding how well a cleaning process has performed on any given surface. This data is then used to monitor the hygiene performance over time, and can be used to highlight areas for improvement. 

If ATP is present on a surface, it indicates improper cleaning, and thus the presence of contamination. This contamination may be food residue, allergens or bacteria, which implies the potential for a surface to harbour and support bacterial growth.

The presence of ATP on a surface after the initial cleaning process has taken place indicates that the cleaning process may not have been appropriately undertaken or the current process is unsuitable, and that the facility may need new cleaning products.

ATP testing - Hygiena Kit and Swab Sychem Own Swabbing glass tabel

How does it work? 

There are three crucial elements to an ATP surface test: the luminometer, bioluminescence chemistry and the test device design.

The ATP Monitoring System by Hygiena joins an industry-leading photodiode with superior liquid-stable chemistry and the patented test device, to produce the most accurate ATP monitoring system on the market.

Hygiena’s advanced testing devices contain a natural enzyme found in fireflies, which then produces a simple bioluminescent reaction when it encounters any ATP remaining on a surface. This reaction then admits light as a bi-product, and the light is then measured within the luminometer.

ATP gets taken from the surface via the swab test, which then reacts with the Luciferin/Luciferase residing at the top of the test. The reaction emits light as a bi-product. The light is then measured within the luminometer. 

By measuring the amount of bioluminescence from an ATP reaction, it provides an excellent indication of a surface’s cleanliness, as the quantity of light generated by the reaction is directly proportional to the amount of ATP present within the sample.

The reaction is immediate, and results can be processed directly at the test site and returned in seconds. Results are shown as a numerical value on the luminometer screen as Relative Light Units (RLU).

The reaction from the bioluminescence is immediate so that results can be processed directly at the test site within seconds. The results are expressed as a numerical value on the luminometer scree bub Relative Light Units (RLU).

Hygiena luminometers and swabs

At Sychem, in partnership with Hygiena, we offer a complete portfolio of ATP Hygiene Monitoring devices and swabs. Our diverse range includes the Hygiena EnSURE™ Touch and the SystemSURE Plus ™ ATP testing devices, a collection of surface and solution testing swabs and the Calcheck verification tool.

Hygiena’s SystemSURE Plus and EnSURE Touch ATP luminometers use bioluminescent technology to detect and measure extremely low levels of ATP, collected with one of our testing swabs. Our swab tests include:



AquaSnap Free

AquaSnap Total

Visit the Hygiena webpage to learn more about their full range of ATP Hygiene Monitoring devices, or visit our ATP testing page to discover our complete portfolio of products.


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