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Reinforced Clostridial Agar is recommended for the cultivation and enumeration of anaerobes, particularly Clostridium, and other microorganisms in foods and clinical specimens. Hirsch and Grinstead formulated Reinforced Clostridial Medium (Cat. 1007) and found that this medium is superior to others in supporting growth and producing high cell counts of Clostridia. When incubated anaerobically, this medium grows various anaerobes and other bacteria. Barnes and Ingram also demostrated that it can be used to develop vegetative cells in assays of Clostridium perfringens. Peptone and beef extract provide nitrogen, vitamins, minerals and amino acids essential for growth. Yeast extract is a source of vitamins, particularly of the B-group. Dextrose is the fermentable carbohydrate providing carbon and energy. Sodium chloride supplies essential electrolytes for transport and osmotic balance. Starch in the medium acts as a growth factor, probably functioning like a colloid protector and neutralizes toxic products that form during the development of the organisms. L-Cysteine hydrochloride is the reducing agent and Sodium acetate is the buffer. Bacteriological agar is the solidifying agent. Since it is a non-selective enrichment medium, it allows the growth of various anaerobic microorganisms and facultative bacteria when incubated anaerobically.
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