You don't have to look far in the news to see the many food recalls due to the risks of bacterial contamination. These recalls cost food producers and processors many millions of dollars every year, and not just for the recalls themselves, but also damage to their brands. The current testing practices, which can take 4-7 days to get results, are creating a dilemma for processors as they try to balance profitability and product freshness with the certainty that the product is contamination free.
There have been calls by food safety experts over the past several years for on-site, rapid testing for bacterial contamination.
In 2015 Y. Martin Lo wrote, "Not only use does such holding time delay the release of the products, but it also eliminates the opportunity to catch where and how the contamination might have occurred, rendering the products susceptible to recurring problems." (Y. Martin Lo, "Building Better Food Safety Practices: Addressing the Need for On-Site Microbial Screening Capacity", Food Safety Magazine EDIGEST, September 1, 2015, http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com ).
In 2013 Amanda Kinchla and Sam Nugen underscored the particularly difficult problem that fresh produce farmers have balancing the need to get products into stores within 1 - 3 days of harvest to ensure best quality, with the 1 - 3 days it takes traditional microbiological testing methods to return their results (Amanda Kinchla and SamNugen, "Challenges and Innovations for On-Farm Bacterial Testing", Food Safety Magazine, Magazine Archive, August/September 2013, http://www.foodsafetymagazine.com ).
Both articles cite the need for on-site, simple, affordable test capabilities that return results in less than 24 hours.
Acumen Detection is developing specific, sensitive assays
Acumen Detection is developing specific, sensitive assays based on real-time, quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology that can identify the presence of viable food pathogens in about 8 hours, and that can be employed by anyone, anywhere.
As we describe in the Our Approach section, we design systems with the operator at the center of the system, which means that our systems are intuitive, rugged, and cost-effective. We leverage our experience developing biological identification systems for use by non-specialists in the military, who have to succeed under the most stressful conditions, to create an inexpensive capability that can be used on the farm or processing plant, without any laboratory or refrigeration requirements for, and that delivers consistently accurate and unambiguous results.
Our team is working diligently on expanding our services to more areas to help keep the public safe. For more information about how our products can help you or your business, please contact us.