Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Scottish Scientist’s To Develop ‘While-U-Wait’ Contaminated-Food Detector

13.11.2007
A group of Scottish scientists have received funding to mass-produce a revolutionary food testing kit that will detect the presence of a host of potentially fatal contaminants within hours - making it the fastest such technology in the world.

By 2010 the project, based at The Macaulay Institute, Aberdeen, will roll out technology that will cut detection times for food poisoning bugs such as Compylobacter, Listeria and Salmonella from six days to just five hours.

According to the Macaulay Institute’s Dr Brajesh Singh, who leads the project, the new technology could prevent thousands of deaths every year from food poisoning outbreaks.

“The conventional methods for detecting food contamination used by industries and regulatory agencies are labour intensive, time consuming and costly. Our proposed technology offers for the first time, at low cost, the simultaneous detection of multiple contaminants within five to eight hours, and has the potential to revolutionise the food safety industry and save lives through prevention of food poisoning epidemics.

“We believe that this technology provides a real opportunity to make Scotland a world-leader in microbial diagnostics and industrial microbiology. A combination of an excellent skill base, innovative science, leading regulatory agencies, and industrial track-record places Scotland at the forefront of this technological arena.”

“The project will allow Scotland to compete with North America and Continental Europe in this growing market, which estimates suggest will be worth US$2.4 billion by 2010 for the food sector alone.”

While the technology will initially focus on contaminant detection in food and the environment, it has wider applications and will be attractive to healthcare, forensic and remediation industries.

There is also the potential for this technology to be used in the future to quickly detect hospital super bugs such as MRSA, said Dr Singh.

He added: “By proving the concept within two years, the project will achieve a technology that can be licensed to a range of industries or service providers in microbial diagnostics. It will also be marketed through a spin-out company which will manufacture the necessary kits and create a service centre for the UK, leading to new job opportunities in Scotland. These jobs will be in food, environmental and clinical industries.”

Funded by Scottish Enterprise’s Proof of Concept programme, the £246K project’s aim is to be selling products worldwide by 2010 via a spin-out company, which will also analyse food samples and develop more products.

The test kit works by analysing a food sample for specific food pathogens. It will detect multiple microbial contaminants in food, water and environmental samples. This unique method allows dual detection of pathogens and determines if they are capable of producing toxins or whether they have antibiotic resistance. It offers improved diagnostic potential to identify the source of contamination and therefore save lives.

Dr Singh said: “It is also very sensitive and can be used to accurately determine the level of contamination - which is a limitation of present methodologies. Once proven the technology will reduce running costs and allow more frequent and comprehensive surveillance of food safety, improving public health protection and food quality management systems.”

The project also involves Dr Colin Campbell and Dr Fiona Moore of the Macaulay Institute, and Mr Iain Ogden from the University of Aberdeen.

This announcement comes just a week after the high-profile international soil forensics conference organised by the Macaulay Institute.

Dave Stevens | alfa
Further information:
http://www.macaulay.ac.uk

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Investigators may unlock mystery of how staph cells dodge the body's immune system
22.09.2017 | Cedars-Sinai Medical Center

nachricht Monitoring the heart's mitochondria to predict cardiac arrest?
21.09.2017 | Boston Children's Hospital

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>