3M Food Safety Offers Affordable Pathogen Detection System

According to the company, the 3M™ Molecular Detection System is an accurate, easy-to-use method for detecting pathogens such as Salmonella, E. coli O157, and Listeria.

3M Food Safety announced the release of a new product Dec. 12, the 3M™ Molecular Detection System. The company described it as an accurate, "easy-to-use method for detecting pathogens like Salmonella, E. coli O157, and Listeria, that can shut down businesses and threaten public health."

The system uses isothermal DNA amplification and bioluminescence detection, and it delivers highly sensitive results by targeting and amplifying nucleic acid in enriched samples, according to the announcement, which said te automated technology has been evaluated with produce, meats, processed foods, pet food, and food processing-related environmental samples. The instrument takes up less counter space than a laptop computer.

"Leveraging 3M's record of innovation, including close collaboration with our customers, we believe we've found a transformational solution that makes for a faster and simpler way of accurately detecting pathogens," said Francine Savage, vice president and general manager of 3M Food Safety. "Just as 3M Petrifilm Plates succeeded by melding sophistication with simplicity, the 3M Molecular Detection System optimizes technicians' time and productivity, improving bottom lines, protecting brands, and ensuring public health."

"Pathogen testing has now been made simple and affordable," said Niki Montgomery, 3M Food Safety's global marketing development manager. "Food processors will benefit greatly from the system's affordable accuracy and fast time to results, minimizing downtime in the lab. Numerous organisms can be tested in a single run, and it was designed to help our customers perform fewer repeat tests and make critical decisions faster."

Pathogen-specific assays, or procedural tests, will be sold as test kits, with each kit using the same software interface and same DNA extraction protocol for testing between one and 96 samples per run. Assays for Salmonella, E. coli O157 (including H7), and Listeria are available now; a test for Listeria monocytogenes is expected in early 2012. "In our evaluation of the Listeria species assay, we liked the small footprint of the system as well as the quick delivery of results after sample enrichment," said Dr. Martin Wiedmann, a professor in Cornell University's Department of Food Science. He studied the system's analyses of samples taken from meatpacking, seafood processing, and retail locations. "This system definitely illustrates the potential of isothermal methods for rapid detection of foodborne pathogens," Wiedmann said in 3M's release.

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