Ensuring Food Safety Through Innovative Technologies

The rise in use of pesticides in agriculture sector to feed increasing population, increase in adulteration level in products to improve shelf life and the growing awareness of consumers regarding food safety are pushing the need for food safety diagnostic technologies across the globe.

As per an estimation by Word health Organization, one out of 10 people suffer from foodborne diseases in the world resulting almost 420,000 death every year.

New technological innovations in food safety diagnostics space are one of the robust measures to minimize the outbreaks of diseases caused due to food contamination. Strong implementation of diagnostics technologies at the entry point of food—imported or exported—can detect the safety level before the food reaches consumption.

The raspberry incident that occurred in Quebec few months back confirmed over 600 cases of Norovirus. Whereas, the fipronil contaminated eggs scandal in Europe compelled more than a dozen European countries to pull millions of eggs back from supermarkets.

Besides growing incidents of contaminated food across the globe, the stringent regulations on foods adopted by developed countries particularly are also forcing food companies to adopt food safety diagnostics technologies. As a result, the demand for advanced diagnostic kits and characterization techniques are soaring in food safety diagnostics sphere.

The advanced diagnostic kits comprise of biosensors, chip technologies, etc. whereas X-Ray, UV, etc. are categorized under characterization techniques.

The use of technologies like bioluminescence, biochips and biosensors are effective and helpful in detecting the level of microorganisms and agrochemicals in food. Similarly, the new innovative technology like Genome Sequencing when linked with sensors or Internet of Things helps to identify pathogens along with the behavioral pattern of microorganisms in different environment.

The rising need of technologies for food safety diagnostics is unlocking business opportunities for tech-giants, too. In order to meet the assured standard of food, food companies are developing technologies in collaboration with tech-giants. For example, IBM and Mars in collaboration have developed a similar genetic index with the help of existing data to determine if any harmful bacteria are present in samples.

Subarna Poudel is a researcher with Frost & Sullivan. He can be reached at subarna.poudel@frost.com

Sapan Agarwal drives content and marketing for Frost & Sullivan. Sapan is based out of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia and can be reached at sapan.agarwal@frost.com | +603 6204 5830

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