Fast testing system for E. coli and Listeria in leafy vegetables validated

Friday, 24 February, 2017

The Institute for Food Microbiology in Israel has validated Yarok Technology Transfer’s test method for the fast detection of foodborne pathogens in leafy vegetables. The validation procedure, carried out following standards formulated and required by the US FDA and the European Pharmacopoeia for validation of new testing methods, established that the method is implementable in industrial and commercial laboratories.

Yarok, an innovation-based developer of fast, accurate tests for the fresh food Industry, has developed a testing system for the  fast and accurate detection and count of E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes in leafy vegetables.

The fast testing method can provide reliable results for E. coli presence/absence assessment in 4.5 hours and for L. monocytogenes in 8–9 hours. These times to result (TTR) are significantly shorter than those produced using rapid systems, and vastly shorter than those obtained with traditional methods.

The validation confirmed that the fast testing method showed a higher sensitivity (lower detection limit) than the reference conventional analytical method in E. coli presence/absence tests, being able to provide count results for a single bacterium in the sample. The validation concluded that the new fast testing method is suitable for use in routine testing for detection (presence/absence) and count of E. coli and Listeria monocytogenes in leafy vegetables.

The new method is based on intellectual property held by Dr Vladimir Glukhman, co-founder and Chief Scientist of Yarok. Based on a simple laboratory procedure, the testing system requires a proprietary kit to be used with affordable off-the-shelf laboratory tools.

“The lack of truly fast testing for dangerous foodborne pathogens is dangerous for the consumer and is hugely problematic in the food industry for manufacturers, large and small, and for retail chains,” said Yarok CEO Jonathan Sierra.

“Today, test results are evident only after fresh products are marketed. By contrast, the validation procedure confirmed that our system delivers highly accurate results within the time frame of a typical production shift. First clear results are provided in just 45 minutes. This short testing time enables producers to reliably evaluate raw material or final product conditions and deliverability, saving the industry on unnecessary costs and drastically reducing the threat of product recalls. Results come in before products go out.”

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