TechConnect Innovator Spotlight:

TechConnect World Innovation Conference
May 14 - 17, 2017, Washington DC

Rapid Detection of Pathogens in Food, University of Minnesotta


Highly sensitive, low cost, rapid microbial detection methods that are robust enough to be easily used in manufacturing environments such as a food processing facility. Two assays have been developed; one that uses a color change indicator and the other requires a simple fluorometer.

Primary Application Area: Manufacturing, Instrumentation

Technology Development Status: Prototype



Rapid microorganism detection is vital in the food processing industry to prevent foodborne disease, and in clinical hospital setting for diagnosis and treatment. Widely used bioassays such as ELISA suffer from low sensitivity, poor limit of detection and require a laboratory.  Other rapid methods require the growth of microorganisms in media followed by detection using an instrument.   Two new microbial detection assays that are affordable and simple to use have been developed. The first method provides instrument free visual detection of the presence of a single pathogen.  A new molecular signal amplification system has been developed that senses a single ligand-receptor and creates a large color change response visible to the naked eye.    This second method is a microbial screening and identification assay that can be completed in 1 hour. It employs a chemiluminescence signal that is altered by the presence of microorganisms. It can also be used to identify the microorganism type.  Features and Benefits:  
- Pathogen identification and quantification  
- Rapid results 
- Excellent sensitivity 



Value Proposition:  For the detection of pathogens in food, this technology is simple, low cost, highly sensitive and provides rapid (<1 hour) results. It is suitable for at-line testing or in the lab of a food processing facility.



National Innovation Awardee

Organization Type: Academic/Gov Lab