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Development of a Simple, Quantitative Kit to Test Vegetables and Fruits for Evidence of Fecal Contamination

Award Information
Agency: Department of Agriculture
Branch: N/A
Contract: 2006-33610-17710
Agency Tracking Number: 2005-00257
Amount: $296,000.00
Phase: Phase II
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: N/A
Solicitation Number: N/A
Solicitation Year: N/A
Award Year: 2006
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): N/A
Award End Date (Contract End Date): N/A
Small Business Information
12441 Beckley Street
Granger, IN 46530
United States
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Fu-Chih Hsu
 (574) 277-4078
Business Contact
 Fu-Chih Hsu
Title: Director of Operations
Phone: (574) 277-4078
Research Institution

One of the most vulnerable sectors in the food industry includes "ready-to-eat" fruits and vegetables that may be consumed without peeling, pasteurization, or cooking. Increases in the year-round consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables that are out of season in the United States, coupled with the relaxation of international trade restrictions, have resulted in significant increases in the importation of produce from developing countries where oversight of irrigation, washing, and handling practices may not be as stringent as in the U.S. Because this produce is generally not cooked prior to consumption, foodborne outbreaks can result from microbiological contamination of crops irrigated using substandard water, reclaimed water or wastewater. Because it may never be possible to test ready-to-eat food products directly for all possible microbial contaminants, the development and commercialization of rapid, simple and economical indirect testing methods for assessing fecal contamination is highly desirable. This proposal addresses the need to develop a robust, rapid and economical method for the determination of fecal contamination of ready-to-eat produce.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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