Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Shellfish safer to eat thanks to breakthrough by Queen's scientists

11.01.2011
New technology to make shellfish safer to eat has been pioneered by scientists at Queen's University Belfast.

The new test, developed at Queen's Institute for Agri-Food and Land Use, not only ensures shellfish are free of toxins before they reach the food chain but is likely to revolutionise the global fishing industry.

While the current process for monitoring potentially dangerous toxins in shellfish takes up to two days, the new test slashes the testing time to just 30 minutes using new biosensor technology and provides a much more reliable result.

The test detects paralytic shellfish poisons, which paralyse anyone who consumes them and kills around 25 per cent people who are poisoned.

Leading the project is Professor Chris Elliott, Director of the Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use at Queen's School of Biological Sciences, who said: "Toxins secreted by algae, and which concentrate in shellfish, are a major hazard to consumers and can bring huge economic losses to the aquaculture industry.

"While the existence of these toxins has been known for some time, there have been major concerns about the effectiveness of tests used to detect them. There is also growing evidence that climate change is causing many more toxic episodes across the world, resulting in the closure of affected shellfish beds.

"The new test, developed at Queen's, is much quicker and more reliable than existing methods. It works by using unique 'detector proteins' to seek out minute amounts of toxins present in mussels, oysters, cockles and scallops.

"The test will not only make shellfish safer to eat, but it will also have a significant impact on global aquaculture industries as they struggle to deal with the rising problems of toxins caused by climate change.

"The test has been developed as part of a €10 million (Euro) BioCop research project led by Queen's and involving 32 international research partners and the European Commission.

"We have also signed a substantial contract with the UK-based company Neogen Europe to commercialise the idea. This will be the third such aquaculture product developed by Queen's and Neogen Europe, helping the company to develop its unique portfolio of rapid food safety tests and reinforcing Queen's reputation as a global leader in this area."

Research at Queen's will also be aided by a $500,000 (US dollars) grant from The American Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) to further develop the test in the USA so it can be conducted in laboratories and on boats as soon as the shellfish are caught, and will help drastically cut the time taken to get the catch from fishing nets to supermarket shelves.

For more information on the Institute for Agri-Food and Land Use at Queen's University visit http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/InstituteofAgri-FoodLandUse/AboutUs/

For more information about the BioCop project visit www.biocop.org

Ends Media inquiries to Anne-Marie Clarke on 00 44 (0)28 9097 5320 email anne-marie.clarke@qub.ac.uk

Notes to Editors:

1. Professor Chris Elliott is available for interview.

2. The Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use at Queen's conducts cutting edge, environmental, food safety and nutritional research of local, national and international importance. It also provides a range of undergraduate and postgraduate programmes, in an interactive and creative learning environment. The Institute is at the forefront of ensuring the agri-food and land use sectors maintain the competitive edge needed to meet the challenges posed by European enlargement and the global marketplace. For more information visit http://www.qub.ac.uk/schools/InstituteofAgri-FoodLandUse/AboutUs/

Anne-Marie Clarke | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.qub.ac.uk

Further reports about: Agri-Food BioCop Neogen dangerous toxin food safety shellfish

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht How much drought can a forest take?
20.01.2017 | University of California - Davis

nachricht Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product
02.12.2016 | Purdue University

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Quantum optical sensor for the first time tested in space – with a laser system from Berlin

For the first time ever, a cloud of ultra-cold atoms has been successfully created in space on board of a sounding rocket. The MAIUS mission demonstrates that quantum optical sensors can be operated even in harsh environments like space – a prerequi-site for finding answers to the most challenging questions of fundamental physics and an important innovation driver for everyday applications.

According to Albert Einstein's Equivalence Principle, all bodies are accelerated at the same rate by the Earth's gravity, regardless of their properties. This...

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Tracking movement of immune cells identifies key first steps in inflammatory arthritis

23.01.2017 | Health and Medicine

Electrocatalysis can advance green transition

23.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New technology for mass-production of complex molded composite components

23.01.2017 | Process Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>