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
Organ-on-a-chip mimics heart's biomechanical properties
23.02.2017 | Vanderbilt University
Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München
In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences
23.02.2017 | Life Sciences