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Arrayjet, Safeguard Team on Food Safety Tests

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A trio of UK firms will co-develop a microarray-based test for food contamination and adulteration.

Arrayjet, Safeguard Biosystems, and Reading Scientific Services said in a statement today that the envisioned assay will be able to identify and quantify the amount of cow, pig, chicken, horse, goat, sheep, turkey, donkey, dog, cat, rat, and mouse DNA in foods.

By identifying the targeted DNA sequences and calculating the ratio of different species within a sample, the companies claim they will be able to determine whether adulteration or contamination has occurred.

Funding for the one-year project is being provided by the UK's Technology Strategy Board, its Food Standards Agency, and the Department for Food, Environment and Rural Affairs. The companies said they will provide additional funding for the project. The total amount of funding was not disclosed, and an email to Arrayjet seeking further information was not returned.

According to the partners, the new assay will be based on Safeguard Biosystems' DNASensorArray platform, which supports the interrogation of 96 samples simultaneously. Arrayjet will print the arrays using its inkjet technology, and Reading Scientific Services, a certified food testing laboratory, will select the content for the test and validate it.

The firms said that the resulting test could be used by retail chains, regulatory bodies, restaurant and fast food outlets, meat processors, and food producers globally to assure consumers of what they are buying. They anticipate publishing the results of their work later this year.