Time for food safety tests halved with new technology at Nanyang Polytechnic centre

Irene Chan, 50, quality manager of the Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP)-bioMerieux Food Microbiology Rapid Testing Centre, doing the food preparation for the rapid food testing method, which reduces time and labour.
Irene Chan, 50, quality manager of the Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP)-bioMerieux Food Microbiology Rapid Testing Centre, doing the food preparation for the rapid food testing method, which reduces time and labour. ST PHOTO: FELINE LIM

SINGAPORE - Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the food industry are now able to find out how safe their food products are in record time.

Using a newly introduced technology, food companies can determine if their food products are safe for consumption in approximately 24 hours - a 100 per cent reduction in waiting time.

Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) unveiled this new system on Friday morning (June 16) at its food and safety centre, the NYP-bioMerieux Food Microbiology Rapid Testing Centre. Named Tempo, the system is new food quality indicator testing system developed by bioMerieux, a French manufacturer of in vitro diagnostics.

SMEs will be able to conduct research and development projects and joint consultation projects on rapid testing for food products using the new system at NYP's premises for a fee.

With shorter delays in food safety tests, food manufacturers are expected to be able to accelerate the release of their products into the market and significantly reduce time spent on food inspections.

Beyond its potential collaborative efforts with SMEs, bioMerieux's partnership with NYP also will give the polytechnic's students a chance to participate in food safety workshops and gain valuable industry experience that will give them a "head start over others", said Dr Joel Lee, 54, the director of NYP's School of Chemical and Life Sciences.

The new microbiology rapid testing centre will also serve as a testing bed for bioMerieux's new equipment.