Rapid detection of food contaminants in diverse matrices

Food-contaminants
Food-contaminants

Novel Electronic Assay of Microbiological and Other Contaminants in Diverse Food Matrices for Rapid Time-to-Answer Safety Testing

In this early pilot study, we use QES to detect contaminants in food samples. We trained an ML algorithm with molecular vibrations obtained by QES and use it to detect pathogen and allergen contaminants.  

Multiple food contaminants and/or targets can be determined in parallel, in a few minutes, with minimal or no expertise, and from a small sample amount. 

AOAC 2018: Association of Official Analytical Chemists

Novel Electronic Assay of Microbiological and Other Contaminants in Diverse Food Matrices for Rapid Time-to-Answer Safety Testing 

A new assay for molecular testing of microbiological and other contaminants in diverse types of food matrices is proposed here. Our proprietary sensor uses a generic front end to generate a phenotypic footprint of a complex sample, which is subsequently pattern-matched with a reference dataset of molecular fingerprints to identify and assay for a specific pathogen or contaminant. The platform is able to identify the organism without target-specific chemistry, thereby making the detection paradigm matrix- and pathogen-agnostic. To date, our platform has demonstrated the ability to assay for pathogens, toxins and allergens, with the same sensor hardware and without sample preparation, demonstrating the target agnostic nature of the platform while matching the specificity, sensitivity and limit of quantitation/detection of reference methods. Time from sample to information is fast (10 min) and each test only needs 100μL of the specimen, and requires no sample preparation. This is an all-electronic solution which is ‘biology-free’, and as such, it is amenable for use as an embedded point-of-sampling testing device for environment monitoring in production environments. In field, a sample aliquot is dropped into a 1cm3 one-time-use vial with an embedded chip scale analyzer that connects to a portable reader. The reader gathers an electronic signature specific to the sample (background matrix included) and delivers within 10 min an accurate quantitation of the target organism.

Chaitanya Gupta1

1 Probius, Fremont, CA

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