Global leader in food screening technology, Randox Food Diagnostics have developed a range of pioneering honey quality tests which are being adopted by apiculturists across the world to ensure the safety and quality of their produce.
The array of tests, developed by the Antrim-based firm, are being showcased this week at the world’s largest apiculture meeting, the Apimondia International Conference, being held in Istanbul, Turkey from September 29th to October 4th.
The company hopes to highlight to consumers and producers about the importance of food safety, and in particular the dangers of antibacterial residue in food. Scientists have warned that antibiotics used in food production, are passing through the food chain to consumers and therefore contributing to the rise in infections caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
Randox Founder and Managing Director, Dr Peter FitzGerald, commented;
“As a company committed to supporting the fight against antibiotic resistance we must continue to drive awareness amongst producers and consumers alike.
“We are working closely with industry to promote a responsible approach to antibiotic use in food production and we hope that by working with some of the biggest names in the apiculture market, other honey producers will see the benefits of being able to offer their customers complete consumer confidence in a high quality, and importantly, safe product.”
At Apimondia 2017 Randox Food Diagnostics will showcase a range of major technological advancements including the firm’s Antimicrobial Array 1 Ultra, Antimicrobial Array II Plus and Antimicrobial Array V. Thanks to Randox’s patented Biochip Array Technology, these testing panels can simultaneously screen for multiple antibiotics that are sprayed on beehives to ensure the safety of the colony, from only one sample of the produce.
Randox Food’s Antimicrobial Arrays join the company’s already extensive menu of honey screening tests, including its test for Hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), a test for an organic compound produced by dehydration of sugars, which can be indicative of overheating, poor storage conditions or aged honey. The test was recently validated by leading South American honey producer Geomiel, which credited Randox Food for delivering an immediate improvement in the quality of its honey products.
David Ferguson, Global Business Manager for Randox Food Diagnostics, commented;
“We welcome the fact that so many of the world’s leading producers, including Geomiel, have embraced our vision of continuously improving testing standards.
“We have invested a lot in simplifying the process of conducting multiple tests, and consolidating this onto one unique biochip is a cost-effective way for the honey industry to maintain and improve standards. Apimondia 2017 attendees will be offered a complete testing bundle – including our popular analysers, the Randox Evidence Investigator and RX misano, to enable them to test for antibiotics and assess quality in one easy-to-manage system.
“Another unique feature of what we offer here at Randox Food Diagnostics is our ever-expanding test menu. The RX misano for example has a customisable test menu which allows clients to upload new parameters using USB, ensuring access to the most up-to-date tests on the market.
“We will be inviting Apimondia guests to learn more about the upcoming launch of our new pesticide tests, which will provide multiple results for the world’s most prevalent pesticides, such as Amitraz, Acetamiprid, Carbofuran, Carbaryl, and Paraquar. We remain committed to supporting food producers by providing them with the newest and highest quality tests.”
For further information about Randox Food Diagnostics honey testing, please visit: http://www.randoxfood.com/Matrices/Honey
For any further questions please contact Randox PR by phoning 028 9445 1016 or emailing RandoxPR@randox.com
This week over 100 cows on a farm in New Zealand had to be put down after digesting fungus from an infected feed supply. The herd in the Southland and Otago regions was suffering from ergot toxicity. Randox Food Diagnostics have developed the only test for this fungus on the market, which can protect your animals from injury or death.
Ergot Alkaloids are a naturally occurring fungus most commonly found in grains and grasses. Produced by a group of fungi called the Claviceps species, they infect seed heads of plants during the flowering period. The fungus replaces the developing grain with toxic ergot. The dry summer and wet autumn this year provided the optimum growing conditions for the fungus.
Typically, it causes lameness and swelling of the fetlocks and hock joints but in the most severe cases animals can lose tips of their tails, or ears or even their hooves. As in this case, it can result in animals being put down.
While all animals are at risk of contracting ergot, it is most commonly found in cattle.
According to the report, VetSouth Winton veterinarian Hayden Dore confirmed four cases have been reported in Southland and South Otago with a large number of infected cows.
“Over time it effectively causes one or more of the limbs to become gangrenous. Signs of ergot toxicity generally start with a disinterest in feed, before moving to lameness in the limbs, which presented similarly to foot rot, but without the separation of the toes. Once the limbs go cold from lack of blood supply, it would take about a week before the limbs began to fall off,” he said.
“One herd with 900 milking cows had around 130 cows infected by the poisonous fungus, with subsequently 61 of them being put down.”
Testing for Ergot Alkaloids
Randox Food Diagnostics offer the only array on the market to test for Ergot Alkaloids. Validated for flour and seed, the ELISA test offers excellent limits of detection for the toxin Ergotamine at 1ppb.
After several years of dedicated R&D, Randox Food Diagnostics are pleased to announce that the industry’s leading body, the AOAC, has granted its Performance TestedSM certification to the company’s Antimicrobial Array I Ultra Kit (License Number 051705).
AOAC standards are used globally to facilitate public health and safety and promote trade, and the rigorous three year certification process was completed in conjunction with the US Food and Drug Administration Center for Veterinary Medicine validation protocol. In addition to internal validation studies and reporting to the AOAC Research Institute, an external independent expert laboratory was required to evaluate the methodology.
Achieving the AOAC Performance TestedSM certification sends a strong statement to the industry about RFD’s commitment to support food producers by providing the highest quality diagnostic tests.
The widespread use of antibacterial agents in veterinary practice, as bacteriostatic agents as well as to promote growth, has increased the concern about the levels of contamination of food products that can be consumed by the public. To protect both the consumer and the industry, regulatory authorities have specified maximum residue limits.
The Antimicrobial Array I Ultra Kit tests for 13 antibacterial agents: for consumer protection, the presence of these compounds in the food supply is highly regulated or banned. This Biochip based kit uses a multi-analytical approach, and therefore maximises detection capability which will improve food safety.
Head of Randox Food Diagnostics, David Ferguson, said:
“This is a major achievement for our team and we are delighted to receive this certification from AOAC. One of our central goals is to be a catalyst for improving food safety, which is why we invested so much into tackling the widely-reported dangers of antibacterial residue in food.
“There’s a growing awareness among consumers and producers about the critical issue of food safety. The Antimicrobial Array I Ultra Kit will meet the increasing demand for highly accurate diagnostic tests.”
The test kit is exclusively available on Randox’s proprietary Biochip Array Technology.
For more information please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The AOAC Research Institute (AOAC-RI) was incorporated in 1991 as a wholly owned subsidiary of AOAC INTERNATIONAL. The AOAC-RI serves as an independent, third-party, nongovernment administrator of AOAC conformity assessment programs including the AOAC Performance Tested MethodsSM (PTM) and Official Methods of AnalysisSM (OMA) programs for alternative and sole source methods.
For more information, visit www.aoac.org.
Here at Randox we are celebrating our creative and talented work force whose fresh perspectives and world experience help Randox operate on such a global scale.
Recently, Charlie Graham, a member of the Randox Food Diagnostics Marketing team told us about her time spent in Ethiopia, volunteering with Volunteer Service overseas (VSO) as part of the International Citizenship Service (ICS) Programme.
Charlie sat down with us to tell us her story.
“I first heard about the ICS program when I was studying at Glasgow Caledonian University. My friend who was also studying Business Management with Marketing alongside me, had pre-warned me about the intense application process, and although it seemed quite daunting at the time, I have always been interested in volunteer work and international travel so I felt up for the challenge.
To be considered for a place on the program I had to firstly complete an online application. Then if you passed this initial stage you were invited to attend a group interview that took place in London. Here I undertook both group and individual assessments throughout the day that tested my knowledge of international development, conflict resolution and team work skills. Surprisingly, I found the interview process extremely rewarding as there was a strong focus on personal development and feedback. It was also interesting to learn about the possible charities that we could be placed with based on our skill sets.
I was excited when I finally received the news eight weeks later that I been matched with VSO and would be placed in a livelihoods development programme in Addis Ababa. To finalise my place I had to raise £800 that would go towards the work that I would be doing when I arrived in Ethiopia. I decided to host a bake sale in the foyer of Caledonian University and also compete a 5KM run to help raise the money.
As a group, we underwent pre-departure training before our flight from London. Once I landed there was a week of in-country training where I met up with the Ethiopian volunteers that I would be working alongside for the next three months. We also met our new families that we would be staying with throughout the duration of the program.
One of the first projects that I worked on was with the Women’s Income Generating Activity Groups. This Government funded program provided both training and guidance for local women who had received a small loan which enabled them to start up their own business ideas. One memory that has stuck with me from working with this group was the power of knowledge. Almaz, the project leader, highlighted that for many of the women learning how to read and being able to sign their own names was truly empowering and allowed them to become financially independent for the first time in their lives. This really brought home to me how valuable the work of ISC is, and how much I as a volunteer was able to impact the lives of these women by teaching them this simple act.
I also organised community action days during my time in Ethiopia. I visited a rehabilitation centre called Mecadonia that housed 170 people aged between 10 – 94 who are bed ridden or elderly. As this centre runs solely on donations we provided meals and clothing for all the residents. I even got a local newspaper to come and write about the centre to help raise awareness and potentially generate new sponsorship for the future.
One of the residents of Mecadonia was called Addis, he was 26 and was in desperate need of a kidney transplant. He had been suffering from kidney problems for five years and his family could only afford to treat him with traditional remedies – nothing had worked. As his health deteriorated he was unable to live with his family as he needed to attend the hospital for weekly dialysis. The evening that I met him, he was trying to fundraise 1 million birr which is the equivalent of £25,000 to secure a kidney transplant. His story really opened my eyes and put into perspective how blessed we are in the UK to have the NHS. After meeting Addis I felt very fortunate for the health of my family and myself.
During the time I spent in Addis Ababa one of the other projects I worked on was capacity building for a charity called Redeem the Generation which focused on the potential of young people and women. I worked on developing and improving their facilities to ensure they were providing a good service for the local community. One of my biggest achievements during the project was organising ICT training programme for women which was attended by 15 women and several community elders.
The three months I spent in Addis Ababa were truly unforgettable: I learnt a new language, experienced a new culture and made life-long friends. What’s more I got the opportunity to make a tangible difference in the lives of others.
Since my trip I have become a real advocate for international development and female entrepreneurship. My experience has not only helped cement the importance of being a team player but also developed my leadership skills – which has really helped me here at Randox.”
We hope Charlie’s story has inspired you to grab new international opportunities that will help improve the wellbeing of others. Randox is committed to revolutionising healthcare through its diverse and multi-talented team.