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R-Biopharm Rhône unveils new test for toxins in rice, bread and beer

Posted: 7 January 2015 | R-Biopharm Rhone Ltd | No comments yet

Innovative Scottish food safety company R-Biopharm Rhône has developed a new test for potentially fatal toxins which can be present in everyday foods such as rice, bread and beer…

R-biopharm

Innovative Scottish food safety company R-Biopharm Rhône has developed a new test for potentially fatal toxins which can be present in everyday foods such as rice, bread and beer.

The Glasgow-based manufacturer, which is Scotland’s biggest exporter of diagnostic test kits, has unveiled a new immunoaffinity column – designed for a simple and reliable clean-up for the detection of mycotoxins – for the analysis of sterigmatocystin. It is called EASI-EXTRACT® STERIGMATOCYSTIN.

Sterigmatocystin is related to aflatoxin, which is one of the most virulent toxins and causes liver cancer. It has been found in grains, grain-based products, cheese and other commodities such as cereal flakes and muesli.

Mycotoxins are found in fungal matter and they can have a devastating impact on the human body. They are a world-wide problem, especially in areas where conditions are right for the organisms to grow.

R-Biopharm Rhône’s Product Manager Claire Milligan said: “The European Food Standards Agency has proposed limits of 1.5 parts per billion for sterigmatocystin and it is difficult to achieve this level of accuracy with standard testing.

“The use of an immunoaffinity column for sample clean-up and concentration of the toxin is required to ensure accurate quantification. There are currently no other immunoaffinity columns on the market for the analysis of sterigmatocystin.”

The new test is the latest in a series of initiatives by R-Biopharm Rhône which have made food testing more accurate and more directly targeted at areas which are causing immediate concern.

The company was at the forefront of food safety in the horsemeat scandal of 2012 and has spearheaded investigatory testing as concerns mount about cheap fish being substituted for expensive fish.

It has recently created a new test for histamine which is particularly relevant to products such as tuna, mackerel, anchovy, herring, bluefish, sardines, pilchards, marlin and even salmon.

R-Biopharm Rhône, which is based in the West of Scotland Science Park in Glasgow, now employs 50 people, including 15 research and development scientists and is actively recruiting more production staff.

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