Univ. food safety device detects pathogens
March 20, 2012
by Meat&Poultry Staff
CARDIFF, Wales – Researchers at Cardiff Univ. are developing a device that uses an enzyme found in fireflies to detect foodborne pathogens, according to a BBC report.
The university's Bioluminescent Assay in Real-Time (Bart) tests for the DNA of common food bacteria, BBC said. Food samples are placed inside Bart, and if the bacteria are present it triggers the luciferase to produce light. Luciferase is the enzyme that produces light in fireflies. Bart can produce results in 10 minutes to an hour depending on the number of bacteria being tested for, according to BBC.
Prof. Jim Murray of Cardiff Univ. and Dr. Laurence Tisi of Lumora Ltd., a technology company, jointly invented Bart. The device can be used to detect Salmonella, E. coli and Listeria.