The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has revealed the names of the five finalists in its Food Safety Challenge to develop promising new approaches for achieving big improvements in the speed of detection methods for Salmonella in fresh produce.
The finalists are as follows:
A team at Auburn University with a method combing magnetoelastic biosensors and a surface scanning detector used directly on food surfaces.
Dr Bart Weimer/U.C. Davis/Mars Inc. for a method capturing and concentrating Salmonella from large complex samples using antibodies and host receptors for detection with solid phase ELISA, DNA and RNA.
Pronucleotein Inc. for DNA aptamer-magnetic bead sandwich assays used to detect foodborne pathogens with a handheld fluorescence reader.
A team from Purdue University that has developed a physical method for concentrating Salmonella to detectable levels using automated microfiltration.
A group from the University of Illinois and Purdue University with a portable system for multiplexed detection of foodborne pathogens in microfluidic biochips through isothermal DNA amplification and electrical detection.
Each finalist will receive $20,000 and go forward to a “Field Accelerator” to refine their ideas with help and mentoring from FDA food safety and pathogen testing experts. They will then present their improved concepts to the judges and a live audience at a Demo Day in July.
More information about the finalists’ concepts can be found here.