Bakers Journal

3M Food Safety molecular detection system

February 6, 2012
By Bakers Journal

February 6, 2012 – 3M Food Safety introduces the 3M molecular detection system for detecting dangerous pathogens like salmonella, E. coli and listeria that can shut down businesses and threaten public health.

The 3M molecular detection system is based on a combination of unique technologies involving isothermal DNA amplification and bioluminescence detection. The system was designed with 3M’s customer testing needs in mind, which translates into a compact, simple, robust system that offers easy implementation and low maintenance.

“Leveraging 3M’s record of innovation, including close collaboration with our customers, we believe we’ve found a transformational solution that makes for a faster and simpler way of accurately detecting pathogens,” said Francine Savage, vice president and general manager at 3M Food Safety. “Just as 3M petrifilm plates succeeded by melding sophistication with simplicity, the 3M molecular detection system optimizes technicians’ time and productivity, improving bottom lines, protecting brands and ensuring public health.”

The system delivers highly sensitive results by targeting and amplifying nucleic acid in enriched samples. The automated technology has been evaluated with a variety of food types, including produce, meats, processed foods, pet food and food processing-related environmental samples. The instrument takes up less counter space than a laptop computer; it is designed to be portable and adaptable to various lab environments.


“Pathogen testing has now been made simple and affordable,” said Niki Montgomery, 3M Food Safety global marketing development manager. “Food processors will benefit greatly from the system’s affordable accuracy and fast time to results, minimizing downtime in the lab. Numerous organisms can be tested in a single run and it was designed to help our customers perform fewer repeat tests and make critical decisions faster.”

Individual, pathogen-specific assays, or procedural tests, will be sold as test kits. Each assay test kit uses the same software interface and same DNA extraction protocol for testing between one and 96 samples per run. Assays for salmonella, E. coli O157 (including H7) and Listeria are available immediately; a test for Listeria monocytogenes is expected this year.

“In our evaluation of the Listeria species assay, we liked the small footprint of the system as well as the quick delivery of results after sample enrichment,” said Dr. Martin Wiedmann, a professor in Cornell University’s Department of Food Science who studied the system’s analyses of samples taken from meat-packing, seafood processing and retail locations. “This system definitely illustrates the potential of isothermal methods for rapid detection of foodborne pathogens.”

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