Dispatches from IFT 2013

Bio-Rad in automated food pathogen testing

By Jenny EAGLE

- Last updated on GMT

The Bio-Rad iQ Check Prep
The Bio-Rad iQ Check Prep

Related tags: Molecular biology, Polymerase chain reaction

Bio-Rad Laboratories has announced the launch of the iQ Check Prep automation system to take advantage of real-time Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology for food and environmental testing.

Based on the iQ Check, which comprises a range of tests, instruments and software the iQ-Check Prep is a walk away automation platform that will prepare a pre-enriched sample for pathogen detection.  

Regulatory pressure on food producers

Philippe Villard, marketing manager, Food Science Division, Bio-Rad, told foodproductiondaily.com​ at the IFT in Chicago that the system offers the traceability and reproducibility that is critical for a food pathogen detection method, especially as regulatory pressure in food producers increases.  

“We launched this in response to the needs of labs that handle a lot of samples every day to give them a complete automation of our manual method system. It gives them peace of mind so that they can go away but still expect the same level of reliability,” he said.

“We are not changing the transcription of our manual method it has just become completely automated. We have a transparent process for the US not like the ‘Black Box effect’ where scientists put their sample into a ‘black box’ only to return two hours later without seeing the results as they happen.

Easy adaption of molecular methods

“This area will be a major focus for us in the next three years. Molecular methods are becoming the gold standard in food pathogen testing mainly because more emerging pathogens (such as STEC) are described by international regulators in molecular terms and cannot truly be diagnosed by non-molecular method, ELISA for example.  

“With a simple user interface and intuitive design, the iQ-Check Prep system allows for the easy adaption of molecular methods to labs that have never used this method in the past.”  

All protocols have been AFNOR/ISO 16140 and AOAC validated and extended for use with the iQ Check Prep system.

Related topics: Food Safety & Quality

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