USDA Agricultural Research Services and ChemImage Corporation Join Forces to Combat Food Safety Issues

29 Jan 2008
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ChemImage, a world leader in Chemical Imaging technology, today announced a CRADA (Cooperative Research and Development Agreement) with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service (USDA-ARS) to co-develop high-speed imaging technology for monitoring chemical and biological contaminants on food. This partnership opens the door for the development of technology that will enable inspectors, regulators, and consumers alike to have greater confidence in the quality and safety of the food moving into and throughout the country.

ChemImage’s diverse portfolio of Chemical Imaging technologies combined with the USDA-ARS’s expert knowledge and experience with food safety issues provide the basis for a strong collaborative effort for the development of laboratory and portable Raman imaging devices for the detection and identification of hazards. Initial development will focus on the detection and identification of the chemical compound Melamine, which was added to food products imported from China, and resulted in harm to pets in the U.S. during 2007.

“These issues stem beyond the produce section of your local grocery store,” says USDA-ARS Scientist Dr. Moon Kim. “We are working to address the issue of food safety throughout the food sector, from farm to fork. We intend to develop a forward-looking approach that uses modern imaging technology to identify chemical and biological hazards at various points within the distribution chain to help reduce the risks of intentional or unintentional contamination.”

“This relationship with the USDA-ARS provides a great foundation for our product development team to understand the needs of this user segment and provide a customized solution for this national priority. Melamine detection will just be the first chemical on our list. With optimized detector capabilities, we should be able to monitor for a broad base of chemicals and eventually assist with rapid pathogen detection as well”, said Mr. Bob Kibler, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at ChemImage.

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