The Fastest, Simplest & Cheapest Way to Verify Hygiene

Technology Overview

As pressure to reduce food waste increases, food & beverage producers are finding it increasingly difficult to ensure high standards of hygiene. A major factor is the lack of fast, simple and affordable techniques for training staff and verifying hygiene. In many facilities where hundreds of products are processed every minute, even when contaminants are caught early, a significant product recall may still be required.

Many sources of contamination are invisible to the naked eye, and there’s always a chance something can slip through regardless of how comprehensive the cleaning is. Expensive equipment and staff training is often required to carry out proper hygiene tests. Reducing the costs and improving the ease with which hygiene verification tests are performed presents a huge benefit to both large and small food and beverage producers, and to multiple organisations (e.g. hospitals) where hygiene is of utmost concern.

A start-up has developed a spray solution that starts purple and changes colour to warn users of the presence of dangerous levels of bacterial, chemical or organic contaminants.

The company is looking for collaborative opportunities (technical or research) to develop and incorporate their solution into new formats and novel applications. For other opportunities please send in your enquiries for discussion.

Technology Features & Specifications

Upon contact with the contaminated surfaces or contaminants, the solution will turn from purple to other colours along a spectrum within seconds.

The technology utilises biology unique to bacteria, and chemistries typically found in cleaning products and is:

  • Verified and shown to be as good as ATP swabs (current market standard) by an independent testing lab to detect the following at high, medium and low levels:
    • Typical food industry microorganisms: Salmonella enterica ser. Typhimurium; Staphylococcus aureus; Pseudomonas aeruginosa; Listeria monocytogenes; Lactobacillus plantarum; Bacillus cereus
    • Organic contaminants: BSA, skimmed milk, raw chicken juices

Potential Applications

Potential applications of this technology may include and is not limited to:

  • Hygiene related businesses and functions in the food, hospitality, transportation and healthcare industries
  • Incorporation into novel formats and applications that may benefit from the quick and easy detection of bacteria and organic contaminants, e.g. into disposable filters

Market Trends and Opportunities

The size of the surface hygiene testing market is predicted to be a $17 billion global industry encompassing all sectors. Most products in this sector are also biologically based, meaning they use proteins to afford detection. This means they have a short shelf life and need to be stored in the fridge. This severely limits the climates that the current products can operate in. The proposed technology is chemical based which means it is stable at ambient temperatures. Making it far easier to use and store in any size business.

Currently there is also a drive to ensure that all businesses are operating to even higher levels of safety, this is due to recent outbreaks of food contamination. The need to use such technology has never been more apparent. 

Customer Benefits

The technology has several benefits:

  • Affordability/affordable – about 30% the cost of ATP swabs
  • Easier and faster to implement
    • No specialised equipment for analysis and staff training required
    • Gives binary (yes/no) results
    • In a liquid form, it can be easily removed from surfaces
  • Shelf stable – Highly stable, non-protein based, chemical formulation that needs no refrigeration
  • Verified to detect seven of the most hazardous bacterial strains in the food industry
  • Safe for use in food manufacturing environment

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