What is EMB agar?

Eosin Methylene Blue Agar (EMB) was developed by Holt-Harris and Teague.1 This formula contains lactose and sucrose with two indicator dyes, Eosin Y and Methylene Blue. The use of Eosin Y and Methylene Blue as indicators produced sharp and distinct differentiation between colonies of lactose fermenting and nonfermenting organisms. Sucrose is included to detect coliforms that ferment sucrose more readily than lactose. EMB Agar is selective due to the presence of an inhibitor and differential based on the ability of some organisms to ferment carbohydrates with the absorption of an Eosin Y and Methylene Blue complex.