Agilent Technologies has entered into a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to develop new tools to detect and analyze pathogens in food.
The goal of the project is to develop a novel assay panel to identify subtypes of salmonella in food. Knowing the subtype can enable the officials to quickly identify the source of pathogen and limit the number of victims when outbreaks occur.
The research will focus on using mass spectrometry-based genotyping to quickly identify salmonella subtypes.
FDA division of microbiology director Eric W Brown said the FDA expects this collaboration to be an important step in the development of new and specific tools for tracking bacterial pathogens in foods.
As a second part of the project, which will be carried out in collaboration with both the FDA and the Campden BRI laboratory in the UK, the partnership will seek to update Agilent’s lab-on-a-chip method of DNA analysis to identify fish species.
Agilent’s analytical technique can identify species even after the fish has been processed. The technology is based on the Agilent Bioanalyzer, using restriction fragment length polymorphism. The goal is to make this technology fast, inexpensive and simple enough that many kinds of laboratories can use it on a routine basis.
This type of test could detect such things as intentional mislabeling to avoid tariffs and import restrictions or economic fraud where a less expensive species of fish is sold as a more costly species.