This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project seeks to demonstrate how a radically new technology can be applied to real-time detection of food-borne pathogens. Current ready-to-eat food inspection test methods require 3-6 days due to the need to enrich the pathogenic population to the point to make them detectable. During this time, the food is stored, awaiting the results of the tests. This method necessitates additional expenses and resources to store and track the tested lots and reduces the market shelf-life by as much as a week. With the proposed approach, detection of pathogens can be done in real-time as part of the food processing work flow. This is possible because of an innovative technology involving the use of a proprietary amplifying polymer that greatly amplifies detection events. This polymer has been shown to detect subfemtogram masses of inorganic compounds. In the proposed research, proven methods of identifying Listeria will be coupled to the amplifying polymer, resulting in a highly sensitive detection mechanism that will eliminate the need to grow enriched cultures.
The immediate commercial application of this project will be for the inspection of ready-to-eat foods that are subject to Listeria contamination. The low cost and convenience of the system will be attractive to in-plant quality control inspectors, government regulators and institutional users. The broader applications of the basic sensor platform would be for detection of other food borne pathogens and of pathogenic releases in laboratories and in the general environment.
Small Business Information at Submission:
1024 S. Innovation Way Stillwater, OK 74074
Number of Employees: