JAPAN –  Researchers at Osaka Metropolitan University have unveiled a groundbreaking technology capable of accurately measuring viable bacteria in food within just one hour, shattering the conventional two-day waiting period.

This innovation promises to redefine the landscape of food safety testing, offering a swift and efficient solution that could prevent potentially deadly foodborne illnesses.

Published in the esteemed journal Analytical Chemistry, the researchers proudly declare that their novel method requires neither intricate procedures nor costly equipment, making it a game-changer for the food industry.

Led by Professor Hiroshi Shiigi at the Graduate School of Engineering, Osaka Metropolitan University, this research team has pioneered a technology that utilizes tetrazolium salt (MTT), a water-soluble molecule, to electrochemically determine the number of viable bacteria in food products.

Swift, accurate, and life-saving

Traditional methods for assessing viable bacteria in food are notorious for their time-consuming nature, typically taking one to two days to produce results, as reported by Medline Plus.

Worse yet, these results often only become available after the food has left the factory, posing severe health risks.

Professor Shiigi emphasized the urgency of faster testing methods.

 “Therefore, it is imperative to have a testing method that speeds up the process of identifying bacterial contamination before shipment,” she stated.

The crux of this groundbreaking technology lies in its remarkable speed. Unlike conventional methods, which could take days to confirm food safety, this new approach delivers results in just one hour.

Professor Shiigi underscores the significance of this innovation, saying, “With this method, we can quickly measure the number of viable bacteria, allowing us to confirm the safety of food products before they leave the factory and to prevent food poisoning.”

Furthermore, the simplicity and affordability of this methodology hold immense promise. It requires no complex procedures or expensive equipment, opening the door to widespread adoption across the food industry.

In closing, Professor Shiigi expressed optimism about the future of this technology, hinting at the possibility of developing portable sensors for practical applications.

As food safety takes a giant leap forward with this innovation, consumers can anticipate a safer and more reliable food supply chain, where the risk of foodborne illnesses is dramatically reduced.

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