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December 24, 2010
For immediate release

Food Technology Centre Implements New BAX System

Innovation and Advanced Learning

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New equipment will allow the Prince Edward Island Food Technology Centre (FTC) to have a quicker turnaround time for the testing of routine pathogens said Innovation and Advanced Learning Minister Allan Campbell.

“This system lets us tell clients sooner if their food is safe for shipping to their markets,” said Minister Campbell. “The new system will save valuable time for our staff, and allow our organization to offer an improved service to clients.”

The FTC’s microbiology laboratory has adopted the BAX detection system which detects pathogens such as Salmonella in ready-to-eat food and in food processing plant environmental samples.

“The Food Technology Centre is pleased to provide a quicker result for our clients. This allows our clients to ship their food products to their markets sooner, making Island companies more competitive,” said Minister Campbell. “We are pleased to help Island Companies increase their competitiveness off-Island.”

The system can test for pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria) and provide a result to the client in only three days – a result two days quicker than before acquiring the new system.

The system uses polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect bacteria and other microbes with certainty. PCR-based technologies can detect the presence of as few as one bacterium.

“This system is widely used by other food safety laboratories,” said Minister Campbell, “It is a cost-effective system that provides fast and reliable results.”

It is the specificity of the primers incorporated in the test which reduce the processing time and steps in the analysis required before deeming samples negative. Sample processing times for pathogens such as Salmonella can be reduced from four days to 30 hours for a negative sample and from seven days to four days for a positive sample.

“The Food Technology Centre continues to support Island companies in producing food products that are of the highest quality,” said Minister Campbell. “We help clients in a multitude of ways from product and process development through to quality assurance.”

The FTC’s microbiology lab troubleshoots for clients and assists them to find food safety risks and develop appropriate risk management systems. Lab tests make it possible to evaluate the safety and quality of any food product such as seafood. This information is used to help clients in exporting their products, and modifying their products and processes to achieve optimal quality.

Other components of the FTC include an analytical lab which provides services such as nutrition labeling for north American markets, a product development laboratory for product development and trials, a pilot plant for scale-up and process development, and a natural products extraction suite for the extraction of high value products.


The award-winning BAX® detection system is a fast and accurate method for detecting pathogens or other organisms in food and environmental samples. The system breaks down samples at the genetic level, using the power of the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to detect bacteria and other microbes with certainty.

The system uses DNA molecular biology in an automated, standardised format to quickly and definitively screen for food borne pathogens.

Based on real-time PCR, the BAX® system reliably detects the presence of pathogens, GMOs, plant and animal matter in food and animal feed.

BAX system is a breakthrough genetics-based screening method that detects target bacteria in raw ingredients, finished food products and environmental samples.

The automated system takes little space and looks like a desktop computer. More than 200 BAX systems are already in use by governments, food companies and laboratories in 30 countries.

In addition, the global diagnostics industry overall totals $27 billion (€24.7bn) annually, with the food diagnostics industry representing more than $1.7 billion.

It provides advanced molecular technologies for pathogen screening.

Visit for more information on the system.

Media Contact: Angela Court
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