In-plant is Only Half the Story: Sample6 for Labs
At a recent trade show, an executive from leading lab walked over to our booth and asked to learn more about our products. He facetiously joked that he wanted to know more about the test that was trying to take away his business.
His comment was fair. When we talk about DETECT/L, we mostly talk about the benefits for plants. When we set out to create the fastest test on the market, we envisioned that the most value would be generated if this test were run on site. We focused on ease of use and a small footprint so that it could fit into even the smallest in-plant labs. We also prided ourselves on a technology that did not require enrichment, reducing the risk of running the test in plant.
We have realized that we were missing half the story. Here’s the other half:
Over the past two years, we started working with labs, primarily to support our own development and as part of the AOAC process and we learned that many features of the DETECT and CONTROL were valuable to our lab partners.
Labs process an enormous number of samples. Nearly all samples must be enriched and incubated. For enrichment, 225 ml of broth are added to the bags and placed in the incubator for 24 hours or longer. DETECT/L adds just 6 ml of Sample6 Solution to the bag and incubates for 6 hours. This means that labs can make more efficient use of their current incubators, taking on more samples and growing their business.
These volumes of enrichments need to be disposed of. Biological waste is a significant cost for labs. Biomedical waste is typically $100 per cubic foot for disposal. For a large lab processing one thousand samples per day, the total volume of enriched samples disposed of is approximately 10 cubic feet more than what is needed to dispose of the same number of un-enriched samples. This means an additional cost of $1000 per day or more than $250k per year just to dispose of the enrichment liquid.
With current lab-based workflows, samples are either shipped or couriered to the lab, enriched, processed and results are reported. This process takes between 3 and 7 days depending on the workflow. Even with the added transit time to a lab, DETECT/L will still produce results 2-5 days faster.
Labs have an important role in food safety, and while we are already working with the food processors, we look forward to partnering with labs as well. We know that in-plant isn’t for everyone. One excited processor said after hearing about DETECT, “I would recommend to my plants to bring this into their local labs.”