In some situations, the PatternAlert assay and WGS can be effectively used in combination, Dr. Wallace adds. “In a traceback situation, for example, many isolates might need to be sequenced to determine whether the outbreak strain is present,” he elaborates. “The isolates or positive enrichments can first be quickly screened for likely matches with the PatternAlert assay; only those with relevant patterns would go on to be sequenced.”
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Explore This IssueDecember/January 2019
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Three Tests in One
Thermo Fisher Scientific, Basingstoke, England, introduced its RapidFinder Salmonella Multiplex PCR (polymerase chain reaction) Workflow in November 2017. The technology is specifically designed to test raw, ready-to-eat, and ready-to-reheat poultry, as well as production environment samples and primary production samples, according to Cheryl Mooney, the firm’s global marketing and communications manager for food protection.
“What is particularly noteworthy is that with RapidFinder, laboratories performing tests for poultry producers can simultaneously screen samples for Salmonella (S.) species, S. Typhimurium (S. enterica subspecies 1 serovar Typhimurium), and S. Enteritidis (S. enterica serotype Enteritidis),” Mooney says. “We believe this is the first independently validated PCR assay of its kind. RapidFinder features simple sample preparation and provides combined Salmonella species and serovar results from a single test well in as few as 16 hours.”
The assay holds AOAC-Research Institute Performance Tested Methods program certification and has also been awarded the NF VALIDATION mark by AFNOR Certification for raw and ready-to-eat poultry meat and production environment samples. Certification for primary production samples is expected by the end of 2018.
“Many rapid methods, including other PCR tests, are available to indicate when Salmonella is present, but not many are capable of providing serovar identification at the same time,” Mooney points out. “To get that information, a laboratory must either run additional rapid tests, which can prove very expensive, or use traditional identification techniques that take several days to complete, thereby delaying the point at which product can be released or other actions taken. With its tri-fold detection capabilities, RapidFinder is a useful tool for Salmonella control programs in poultry production.”
Fat in 30 Seconds
Soon after the ORACLE rapid fat analyzer was introduced by CEM, Corp., Mathews, N.C., in October 2016, the instrument was named one of the top new products at Pittcon 2017 by Instrument Business Outlook. Then it captured an IFT17 Food Expo Innovation Award in a field of some 40 entries.
“The ORACLE is the first instrument on the market that requires absolutely no method development for fat only analysis,” says Ian Olmsted, product manager of CEM’s Process Control Division. “At the touch of a button, ORACLE can analyze fat in any food sample with reference chemistry accuracy, without any prior knowledge of the sample matrix or composition. The instrument can analyze any sample containing from 0.05 percent to 100.00 percent fat with an exceptionally accurate and precise fat result in 30 seconds.”
According to Olmsted, the Oracle functions by providing direct isolation and measurement of hydrogen protons on fat molecules. “Repeatability with Oracle is better than with wet chemical extraction techniques,” he relates. “The instrument functions with newly developed nuclear magnetic resonance technology that completely isolates protons in fat from all other proton sources in food matrixes, such as carbohydrates and proteins. It is used in food processing labs for quality and process control and can now be used in high throughput central food testing labs with the addition of an automated robotic option. ORACLE can also be paired with CEM’s SMART 6 for combined rapid fat and moisture/solids analysis in less than 5 minutes.”
Droplet Digital Enhancements
In early 2019, Bio-Rad Laboratories, Hercules, Calif., plans to make available commercially its new dd-Check STEC (Shiga toxin-producing E. coli) solution that combines the company’s Droplet Digital PCR (ddPCR) technology and iQ-Check STEC real-time PCR assay.