A system that can rapidly detect pathogens within 48 hours has gone into full implementation at a gorgonzola production plant in Italy.
The Warnex system uses DNA-based technology to determine the presence of pathogens in a food sample. The system allows for the simultaneous detection of multiple pathogens and processing of sampleswithin 12 to 48 hours. Current microbiology tests require five to seven days to detect similar pathogens.
Quebec-based Warnex said yesterday that Santi & C., one of the world's largest manufacturers of gorgonzola cheese, intends to proceed with the implementation of its pathogen detection system at the company's production facilities.
The company is using the system to test for the presence of Salmonella and Listeria in their cheese. Santi began testing the system last year.
Outbreaks of the two bacterium are common across the world and have led to tougher regulation on food safety due to public pressure.
Santi is a dairy company located in Cameri and specialises in the production of Gorgonzola cheese. The company employs 115 people and has facilities covering 10,000 sq. m. and plans to expand to30,000 square meters. In 2003, Santi had revenues of €25m. The company sells its cheeses to major Italian and international supermarket chains.
Warnex is n biotechnology company providing diagnostic and quality control devices and consulting services to the pharmaceutical, food and healthcare sectors.
The companies devices are used for pathogen detection in foods and for the testing of the presence of genetically modified organisms. The company says it is developing devices to detect viruses, toxins, yeasts and molds.
In recent months a US turkey processor and Gold Kist, the third largest chicken producer in the US, have ordered the company's testing devices, Warnex said.