Novel Pro-Dyes to Expand Use of the VerifEYE Contamination Detection System
Department of Agriculture
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Small Business Information
BioLink Life Sciences, Inc.
250 Quade Drive, Cary, NC, 27513
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractBacterial contamination in the American beef supply continues to be a serious concern for the meat processing industry. As part of a broad program of improvements in processing procedures and sanitary methods, meat processors in the U.S. and abroad have initiated use of the VerifEYET Carcass Inspection System (eMerge Interactive, Sebastian, FL). The VerifEYE system automatically inspects each beef carcass, identifying areas contaminated by organic material which may harbor dangerous pathogens such as E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella, or Listeria. Unfortunately, the system also detects the purple inks currently used by the USDA to brand carcasses and reports responses to the inks as "false positives" of fecal and/or intestinal contamination. Experiments in which other FD&C dyes were substituted for the interfering dyes in the purple inks have repeatedly failed, and inks containing dyes that are not approved for use in foods cannot be used without FDA- and USDA-approval. This Phase 1 SBIR project is designed to develop prototypes of branding inks containing novel, biologically labile derivatives of FD&C dyes (i.e., "pro-dyes") that are not detected by the VerifEYE system and are adherent to beef carcasses throughout the multiple steps involved in meat processing. In the future, related applications of this new pro-dye technology may expand use oThe improved quality and safety that are likely to result from use of these
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