3M's Food Safety Division has announced the development of a fast, simple and affordable detection method for pathogens that delivers accurate results, has a positive impact on the bottom line and protects food producers' brands.
The division launched the 3M Molecular Detection System for pathogen testing at its Woodmead offices late last month. The system is powered by an innovative combination of unique technologies - isothermal DNA amplification and bioluminescence detection - to provide a solution that is accurate and easy-to-use.Why test for pathogens
Jonathan Walsh, 3M Technical Manager of the Food Safety Department for the Europe, Middle East and Africa region outlined the reasons as:
- To protect the brand
- To protection against litigation
- To meet legislation, which requires increased testing with laws continually changing
- To counter the number of highly publicised food poisoning outbreaks, which are increasing globally
- To meet customers' food safety awareness of the risks of food poisoning, which is increasing
"When a food poisoning outbreak takes place it affects not only your brand but the food industry as a whole. That said, we need to be vigilant to make sure our products are not the ones that end up on the front covers of newspapers," added Walsh.Research driven by market needs
Microbiologist, Dr Louise Mare, the company's food safety technical service specialist, said that, after many years of research, it has developed and created a product that will provide a solution for brands. The company went into the market and gathered research directly from those persons who do hundreds of pathogen tests day in and day out and asked them what they need and, based on this information, the unique Molecular Detection System for pathogen testing was developed.
Amplification and detection occur simultaneously and continuously during the exponential phase indicating the presence of target organism DNA in real time, giving positive results in as early as 15-20 minutes and negative results in 75 minutes.
Individual assays for Salmonella, E. coli 0157 (including H7), Listeria and Listeria monocytogenes are available in easy to distinguish colour-coded kits. With ready-made reagents and only one test protocol for all target pathogens, the system is easy to use, allows for multiple pathogen detection during each run and reduces the chance for human error or contamination.
The technology has been evaluated with a variety of food types, including dairy products, meats, processed foods, and food processing-related environmental samples.
For more information, go to www.3M.co.za/FoodSafety