Food contamination by pathogens, as well as other organic and inorganic toxins can lead to serious illness and even death. Many strains of food-borne bacteria are monitored by food inspection authorities, government run agencies, research facilities and academic laboratories all over the world. By sampling products and testing for pathogens, monitoring agencies are able to identify and remove contaminated food from the food supply. Investigative surveillance will also identify the long-term effect of chronic exposure to contaminants.
Monitoring contaminant levels in biofilms is an extremely valuable tool to ensure proper food safety. Such screens involve culturing the strain, followed by extraction, purification and amplification of genomic DNA or RNA. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) is a highly sensitive technique, enabling researchers to rapidly select and amplify a specific target sequence from a background of non-related sequences. Manual techniques are error-prone with low throughput. Automation with the VERSA 110 NAP Workstation improves accuracy, throughput, versatility and reliability while simultaneously reducing costs.
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