Filed and Waiting for Commercial Partners
By Sharon Durham
June 29, 2001
A new system for detecting contaminants
during food processing--a potentially important weapon in avoiding food-borne
illness--is one example of new technology developed by
Agricultural Research Service scientists
and available for commercial development.
The system uses near-infrared light and imaging to detect disease-causing
microbes on meat. By detecting material that may not be visible to the human
eye, this system can target areas that require washing, thus saving money,
energy and water, according to ARS scientist William R. Windham. The
U.S. Department of Agriculture has filed a
patent application on the technology.
Research and patents are only the first steps in bringing technology to the
marketplace. Commercial partners are needed to move this and other ARS research
to practical implementation. To help accomplish this, the
ARS Office of Technology Transfer (OTT)
is offering a full listing of current and pending ARS patents on its website.
The OTT's redesigned website, searchable and updated daily, also contains
information about how to license ARS technologies.
Among other technology featured on the site:
- A technique that uses two natural substances designed to alleviate some
incidences of food-borne pathogens. The compounds, produced worldwide and
currently used by the food industry, can be applied as a spray, in a dip tank,
or during washing of poultry to inhibit pathogens. The two substances may also
be used to reduce bacterial contamination of seafood products.
- Using parasitic wasps to detect chemical odors. The wasps can detect the
smallest traces of many chemicals. They also may be used to monitor the health
of plants and soil, both of which emit high or low levels of certain chemicals
when diseased or distressed.
ARS is USDAs chief scientific research agency.