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Purdue Salmonella Detection Technology Wins FDA Competition

Michael Ladisch, Distinguished Professor of Agricultural and Biological Engineering, and Tommy Kreke, laboratory technician, examine fresh spinach and liquid samples that were created by their technology more quickly than traditional methods.

Purdue University has won the grand prize in the 2014 FDA Food Safety Challenge for a technology that detects salmonella more quickly.

The method uses a process called microfiltration to detect salmonella.

While there are times when food pathogens go unnoticed, Purdue researchers say current detection methods the FDA uses are accurate and reliable.

“The challenge they now face is being able to test more samples more quickly, so that the time between when a food pathogen might be present and when it is detected would be shortened,” says Purdue University professor Michael Ladisch, who worked on the project. “Our technology makes it possible to process the samples much more quickly, in hours instead of days.”

That could keep food that has salmonella from being distributed or left on the market.

Purdue’s team received $300,000 in prize money that will be used to further develop the technology.

The Purdue Research Foundation is seeking a patent for the team’s technology.

An estimated one in six Americans is sickened by foodborne illnesses annually and they kill 3,000 people each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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