Italian Authorities Seize Over $1B Worth of Amphetamines Originating From Syria

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Italian Authorities Seize Over $1B Worth of Amphetamines Originating From Syria

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23 September August 2020: Italian Authorities Seize Over $1B Worth of Amphetamines Originating From Syria

Italian police intercepted and seized 14 tons of amphetamines with a street value of approximately $1.15 billion at the Italian port of Salerno in early July. This huge shipment was suspected to have originated from Syria before being transported to the base of a notorious European crime organisation in Naples.

‘Largest seizure of amphetamines in the world’

In video footage the Italian Financial Guard military force posted to their Twitter account, authorities can be seen using electric saws to cut through 6-foot-high cylinders in shipping containers. The Customs Police Col. Domenico Napolitano called the discovery the largest seizure of amphetamines in the world after finding over 85 million pills inside the cylinders.

Syria Identified as One of the Largest Producers of Amphetamines in the World

Syria has become one of the world’s largest producers of amphetamines in recent years, and with production and distribution of such drugs in Europe appearing to have slowed down during the pandemic, the same cannot be said for Syria. As such, authorities are suspecting that crime organisations are placing orders and smuggling drugs from Syria into Europe.

Randox Toxicology

Randox Toxicology are helping to fight drug trafficking by continually investing in new technologies to aid in the rapid and large-scale screening for drugs of abuse. We are world leaders in drug testing solutions with the capability of detecting over 500 drug and drug metabolites using our innovative Biochip Array Technology – the most comprehensive on the drug testing market. Our patented Biochip Array Technology works across a variety of matrices including whole blood, urine and oral fluid.

Using our revolutionary Biochip Array Technology, the Evidence MultiSTAT is a fully automated benchtop analyser that enables onsite, simultaneous testing for up to 21 classical, synthetic or prescription drugs from a single sample in under 20 minutes. This quick and highly reliable technology makes it perfect for use in non-laboratory settings for people with no lab experience.

 

To find out more about our Biochip Array Technology and our Evidence Series range of analysers, visit www.randoxtoxicology.com or email info@randoxtoxicology.com

 

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulates Randox

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson congratulates Randox in House of Commons 22 Sep 2020

On Tuesday 22nd September 2020, in the House of Commons, Prime Minster Boris Johnson congratulated Randox for our vital role at national level in helping to deliver the Government’s testing programme.

The statement from the Prime Minister came in response to Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP, who asked the Prime Minister if he would commend Randox for the work we have done. Sir Jeffrey Donaldson MP said;

Randox has committed 99% of its Covid testing capacity to that programme and on 19th September they successfully reported almost 10,000 samples beyond the recommended daily rate.

The Prime Minister responded by saying;

I do indeed congratulate Randox and all the other businesses involved and we are massively expanding testing the whole time.  

Many thanks again for your ongoing support.

Our staff are our best asset and we salute your hard work and commitment.

For further information please email randoxpr@randox.com

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Matt Hancock pays tribute to Randox staff in House of Commons

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Matt Hancock thanks Randox staff in House of Commons 21 September 2020

On Monday 21st September 2020, in the House of Commons, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP, personally thanked Randox staff for the role we play within the National Testing Programme.

He said;

Randox deliver a very significant number of tests every single day – a growing number – in fact, they are currently outperforming the allocation we have asked them to deliver and I pay tribute to every single person who works at Randox for the work that they have done and the part that they have played in keeping people safe.

Because everyone who gets a Randox test result, like every other test result, gets more information with which they can keep themselves safe and we have more information with which we can try to keep the whole of society safe.

Our work has greatly expanded the capacity for testing in the UK and we will continue to ramp up our capabilities, to both save lives and promote a timely return to a more normal society.

We thank our staff for their ongoing support, and for their commitment to the work that we do, which is making a real and positive difference.

For further information please email randoxpr@randox.com

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Randox response to Sunday Times Article 20 September 2020

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STATEMENT FROM RANDOX: 20 September 2020

Key Points:

  • Randox has committed 99% of its Covid-19 testing capacity to the national testing programme.
  • Randox are fully committed to the national testing programme and robustly refute accusations within today’s Sunday Times.
  • On 19th September Randox successfully reported to the national programme almost 10,000 samples beyond its committed daily rate.
  • The majority of samples which are voided at Randox are down to logistical reasons outside Randox’s control. Samples voided at Randox’s laboratories are comparable to other laboratories across the programme.  Every voided sample is properly accounted for.
  • Randox does not prioritise private samples over comparable samples within the testing programme.
  • Randox staff have performed extraordinarily well and are our strongest asset.
  • All Randox investment in rapidly increasing capacity to the national testing programme has been through its own private resources.

Randox are fully committed to supporting the national Covid-19 testing programme and fully recognise the importance of this work to the economic and social well-being of the nation.   We have made significant private investment to increase capacity and drive process improvements.  We work very closely with all partners within the programme to ensure the most effective possible testing.

Randox robustly refutes accusations in today’s Sunday Times (Sunday 20th September 2020) that private samples are prioritised over comparable samples within the national testing programme.

This is a gross mis-representation of the facts on the ground with regard to its processes.

We reiterate that Randox does not prioritise private samples over comparable samples from the national testing programme.

Once processed into Randox’s laboratories the vast majority of all samples are reported on within 24 hours. It is inaccurate and unreliable to claim that Randox has completed fewer than one in 10 tests on time.  In fact Randox is successfully meeting and exceeding the capacity requirements agreed with Government and fulfilling its contractual obligations.  Moreover Randox is successfully reporting above our commitment to Government for the national testing programme.

On average the Randox void rate is comparable across the programme. It is important to note that whilst all laboratories conduct the voiding  of samples, the reason for the voiding most frequently lies outside the laboratory – normally user or logistic type issues.  It is extremely inaccurate and misleading to claim that Randox, or indeed any laboratory,  voids samples without explanation.

Every sample is receipted in accordance with stipulated, formal procedures and processed accordingly. This includes cross-referencing every sample barcode electronically with the national registration database. Every sample is appropriately accounted for and samples will only be voided if, due to the quality of the sample, the results could not be guaranteed as reliable. Every sample is fully assessed and if voided is allocated a formal reason for void, and all void statistics are reported daily to Government for further analysis.

It is important to note that Randox is not responsible for the sample logistics of the national programme and, as requested by the national programme, often receives samples in excess of daily capacity to report on within the following days.  This is manageable given the time that samples remain valid.

Randox is a private sector diagnostics company, has been in operation since 1982 and operates in 145 countries across the globe. As such Randox have experience of a wide range of public and private sector responsibilities. Randox takes great care in meeting all of its contractual obligations and fully recognises the critical importance of meeting those obligations with regard to the national testing programme.

Randox does not prioritise commercial work ahead of other work streams.

As stated to the Sunday Times, staffing levels are not an issue and holidays have not impacted on throughput – Randox is currently successfully above our commitment to government.

We reiterate that Owen Paterson MP has played no role in securing any Randox contract with DHSC.

Randox staff have been extraordinary in their commitment and dedication in meeting unparalleled need at a time of national crisis, often in the face of ill-informed and misplaced criticism.  We salute our staff.

Press enquiries should be emailed to randox@newcenturymedia.co.uk 

 

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The use of DNA, Drug and Alcohol Testing in Medico-Legal cases

18 September 2020: The use of DNA, Drug & Alcohol Testing in Medico-Legal cases

Drug and alcohol testing may be required by various professional bodies involved in child custody cases, care proceedings or child protection cases. In cases regarding divorce and children, a dispute may arise during the process of discussions involving the custody of children. In these cases, drug and alcohol testing may be sought if there has been a substance abuse claim against a parent fighting for custody or visitation. In cases relating to child protection, social services may seek drug and alcohol testing if child welfare claims have been made regarding suspected substance misuse.

Why is Drug and Alcohol Testing in Medico-legal Cases Important?

Drug and alcohol testing is important to ensure child protection from the detrimental effects of parental substance misuse and to ensure they have the quality of life they deserve. In addition, it is also important to allow parents the opportunity to get the help and support they need and begin rehabilitation treatment.

Doing the right thing by the child is the main priority, and where possible parent and child relationships are sought to be maintained. Drug and alcohol testing assists in these efforts and in such cases abstinence monitoring testing may be required to assess a parent’s recovery e.g. if a visitation case is being reassessed.

Our Expertise

At Randox Testing Services we provide drug and alcohol testing to all professionals within the medico-legal sector. Our testing service utilises accredited testing methods and is made more cost-effective through patented testing methods developed by Randox.

We understand the impact a positive result can have on a parent, child, and extended family and ensure results are of the highest precision and accuracy. With over 35 years’ experience in the diagnostic industry we have gained reputation as a trusted provider.

Our drug and alcohol testing solutions are flexible and can be tailored to our customer needs with a choice of testing methods. We offer a comprehensive drugs of abuse test menu and our service also includes the use of an Expert Witness Statement where applicable.

Range of Testing

We provide a range of testing to suit the requirements for any medico-legal case. Read more below to find out what is available.

Alcohol Testing

PEth

PEth (Phosphatidylethanol) is a direct alcohol biomarker that only forms in the body when ethanol is present, making it the most sensitive and specific test to assess alcohol consumption levels.

  • PEth test involves spotting a drop of blood from a small finger prick onto a test card. The dried blood spot (DBS) is sent to the laboratory for analysis.
  • PEth testing will differentiate between abstinence or light alcohol consumption, social alcohol consumption and alcohol abuse for up to a month prior to the test.

Benefits of PEth Testing

  • Accurate blood alcohol test
  • Detect chronic and single-drinking episodes of alcohol consumption
  • Monitor abstinence, drinking behaviour and identify relapse

Hair Alcohol Testing

Testing for alcohol in head hair works by detecting two metabolites of alcohol: ethyl glucuronide (EtG) and the fatty acid ethyl ester (FAEE). Both EtG and FAEE can be measured in hair providing an insight into alcohol consumption over the previous period of months. Concentrations can be influenced by cosmetic treatments and products and as such it is always advisable to test in conjunction with PEth or LFT/CDT blood testing.

Benefits of Hair Alcohol Testing

  • Assessment of alcohol consumption for up to 6 months
  • Collected by fully trained Collection Officer
  • History of alcohol consumption can be established

Blood Alcohol Testing

Blood alcohol testing is used to measure the level of alcohol in an individual’s blood. When alcohol is consumed, it’s absorbed into the bloodstream, with approximately 90% being broken down into the liver. RTS offer the following blood alcohol tests:

  • Liver Function Test (LFT) – The blood is examined for specific enzymes which can indicate damage to the liver caused by alcohol consumption. However, other factors can lead to increased levels of liver enzymes.
  • Carbohydrate Deficient Transferrin (CDT) – Looks at specific protein which can become elevated because of heavy alcohol consumption. However, other factors can lead to increased levels of CDT.

Benefits of Blood Alcohol Testing

  • Collection by a fully trained phlebotomist collection officer
  • Assessment of alcohol consumption for up to 1 month
  • Determine drinking behaviour and patterns of use

Drug Testing

Urine

Urine drug testing is used to determine whether someone is misusing drugs by taking a sample of their urine. We offer a 12 panel that covers the major drug groups, including:

Opiates, MDMA/Ecstasy, Cocaine, Tramadol, Methadone, Methamphetamine, Ketamine, Amphetamine, Cannabinoids, EDDP, Benzodiazepines, Buprenorphine

Benefits of Urine Drug Testing

  • Assessment of substance consumption for up to 12 days, drug dependent and quantity ingested
  • Confirmation of presumptive positive available on request
  • Fully accredited LC mass spectrometry confirmatory analysis

Hair

Hair drug testing is a useful form of testing and can be used to support other methods such as oral fluid and urine testing. Our standard panel for hair drug testing includes:

Opiates, Methadone, Tramadol, Cocaine (inc. Crack Cocaine), Amphetamines, (inc. Methamphetamines and “ecstasy” type drugs), Benzodiazepines, Cannabis, Ketamine

Benefits of Hair Drug Testing

  • Detection window of 0-12 months dependent on length (1cm roughly 1 month) – Can be an overview of 3 monthly periods or segmented into monthly periods.
  • Head hair & body hair (except axillary & pubic)
  • Body hair – Up to a 12-month overview. Unable to be segmented
  • Bespoke hair drug panel with other substances available on request

DNA Testing

We provide a range of DNA Testing services to suit your requirements.

  • Paternity testing
  • Maternity testing
  • Sibling DNA testing
  • Grandparent DNA testing
  • Aunt/Uncle testing

Benefits of DNA Testing

  • Fully trained collection officer
  • Legally accepted results

Want to find out more?

To speak to one of our experts about how our range of testing and services can help with your medico-legal testing enquiry, contact us today by emailing testingservices@randox.com or by phoning +44 (0) 28 9445 1011

 

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Vacancies available in support of the COVID-19 National Testing Programme

17 September 2020

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Vacancies available in support of the COVID-19 National Testing Programme

Vacancies available in support of the COVID-19 National Testing Programme

There’s no doubt that coronavirus is having a devastating effect across the globe.

But here in Northern Ireland there’s a company making a real impact in the fight against COVID-19. And you can be part of it.

Randox Laboratories, in County Antrim, has partnered with the government on its programme for coronavirus testing across Northern Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.

The programme, which in its first few weeks was focused primarily on staff working within the NHS, and then on key workers, is now available to anyone living across the UK who has symptoms of coronavirus.

Randox are providing high volume laboratory testing of potential COVID-19 samples in its laboratories at the Randox Science Park in Antrim.

It’s an enormous task, but one that Randox is well-equipped to handle. In 2019, Randox manufactured over 3 billion tests and exported to 145 countries. Its new headquarters, the result of a £161 million investment, houses state-of-the-art laboratories and the latest innovations in health diagnostic technology.

The company stepped up to support the government’s testing programme without hesitation.

Across the COVID-19 testing process, a multi-disciplinary team work collaboratively and assiduously to provide optimal support to the national response to COVID-19.

It begins with the production of Randox’s Biochip, a patented testing technology which can run multiple diagnostic tests simultaneously.

Upon identifying the latest strain of coronavirus as a significant global threat, and by drawing on almost 40 years of experience as a world-leading diagnostics company, Randox developed a new Biochip for the diagnosis of COVID-19 in a greatly accelerated time frame of just two weeks. The new Randox Biochip processes two coronavirus tests simultaneously – one specific and one confirmatory – as recommended by the World Health Organisation.

The firm’s team of talented scientists continue to develop these COVID-19 Biochips on an unparalleled scale, in preparation for testing of samples from across the UK.

Meanwhile, specialist engineers design and build the coronavirus testing platforms used to conduct the tests when they arrive at the laboratory.

Randox recently announced it was hiring 160 mechanical, electrical and manufacturing engineers to work on the fast-tracked development of newly designed molecular analysers used to detect the presence of COVID-19.

And the company is also recruiting for positions in Manufacturing and Science, and in particular scientists who have experience in a diagnostic laboratory, in support of Randox’s role within the government testing programme for COVID-19.

These scientists will be exposed to molecular testing techniques including DNA extraction, PCR techniques and Biochip technology, in order to process samples that arrive at the laboratory for testing.

Everyone at Randox has a vital role to play in the practical application of COVID-19 testing.  For Scientists, Engineers and those with experience in Manufacturing, Randox’s recruitment drive is a unique opportunity to make a positive impact in the fight against COVID-19.  Successful applicants will contribute directly both to saving lives and assisting the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

To find out more about the positions available for Randox’s COVID-19 testing project, visit  https://randox.getgotjobs.co.uk/

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Alzheimer’s Disease Month at Randox Biosciences

Randox Biosciences          Immunoassay Arrays          COVID-19

 

15 September 2020

 

Alzheimer’s Risk Array from Randox Biosciences

September 2020 marks the 9th World Alzheimer’s Month

World Alzheimer’s Month is the international campaign every September to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia. Alzheimer’s Disease is a progressive neurodegenerative disease associated with cognitive decline and is the most common form of dementia. It is defined as an irreversible, progressive brain disorder in which parts of the brain are damaged over time.

According to Alzheimer’s Disease International dementia affects people differently – no two people will experience symptoms in exactly the same way. A person’s personality, general health and social situation are all important factors in determining the impact of dementia on an individual. The most common signs are memory loss, the loss of practical abilities, problems with language, changes in mood and behaviour, and withdrawal from work or social activities.1

Who is affected?

  • There are currently around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK. This is projected to rise to 1.6 million by 2040.2
  • 209,600 will develop dementia this year, that’s one every three minutes.2
  • 1 in 6 people over the age of 80 have dementia.2
  • 70% of people in care homes have dementia or severe memory problems.2
  • There are over 42,000 people under 65 with dementia in the UK.2

The Randox Alzheimer’s Risk Array is a rapid and highly sensitive blood test facilitating direct Apo E genotyping without the need for molecular testing.  Apo E is present in three common isoforms; Apo E2, Apo E3 and Apo E4. Alzheimer’s Disease risk is increased in individuals with the Apo E4 allele.

Apolipoprotein E (ApoE) is a major cholesterol carrier that supports lipid transport and injury repair in the brain. ApoE polymorphic alleles are the main genetic determinants of Alzheimer Disease risk. Presence of ApoE4 allele is associated with increased risk for cerebral amyloid angiopathy and age-related cognitive decline during normal ageing.3

Apo E4 is one of three common isoforms of Apo E and is recognised as a major genetic risk factor the development of Alzheimer’s disease.   Apo E4 triggers inflammatory cascades that cause neurovascular dysfunction, including blood-brain barrier breakdown, leakage of blood-derived toxic proteins into the brain and reduction in the length of small vessels.

Utilising revolutionary patented Biochip Technology, the Randox Alzheimer’s Risk Array provides a unique solution for the measurement of both total apoE and the apo E4 isoform levels from a single patient sample, facilitating the fast and accurate classification of Alzheimer’s disease risk in comparison to brain scanning (CT and MRI).

Key Benefits of Alzheimer’s Risk Array

  • 2-plex testing from a single sample
  • Assist in research and development of potential treatment
  • Early risk detection of disease
  • Small sample volume
  • Fast throughput

Biochip Technology

Biochip Technology is an immunoassay testing platform and is the core of Randox Biosciences. The intelligent chemically activated 9x9mm ceramic biochip acts as a solid phase reaction vessel. Benefits of Biochip Technology include:

  • The biochips are pre-fabricated with discrete test regions (DTR’s)
  • Highly accurate testing
  • Better diagnosis
  • Reduced sample volume
  • Wide test menu
  • Multiple sample types can be used on a Biochip
  • Cost consolidation

Evidence Investigator

The Evidence Investigator offers a high throughput even as a compact, semi-automated analyser promoting lab efficiency and cost saving solutions. Utilising Randox’s patented Biochip Technology, this platform facilitates multiplex testing in a rapid, accurate and easy-to-use format providing a comprehensive patient profile from one single sample. This analyser is suitable for medium throughput laboratories and is extremely robust with only one moving part.

For further information on our early risk detection testing for Alzheimer’s Disease, please email info@randoxbiosciences.com

References

  1. https://www.alz.co.uk/info/early-symptoms
  2. https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-us/news-and-media/facts-media
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3898682/

 

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Randox response to Sunday Times Article 13 September 2020

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STATEMENT FROM RANDOX: 13 September 2020

Randox analyse samples and provide Covid-19  test results through the national portal as efficiently as possible, and those tested will receive their results by text and email.    The vast majority of those tested will receive negative or positive results.

Otherwise, a small minority of samples may be voided for reasons such as leaking or damaged tubes, or have time expired.  Those being tested are made aware that samples only remain valid for a limited period once collected, and those periods of validity are fully understood across the planning and logistic process. Randox have no responsibility for the logistics of sample delivery to laboratories.

Should samples enter the laboratory outside that period the results could not be relied upon; the sample could give a false result and would be voided.  In all void circumstances individuals are advised by the national program to seek a retest.  Randox, and the Government planners, take every precaution possible to minimise voids, understanding that each sample is of critical importance.

A test can only be voided once it is processed and reviewed within our laboratory system, including cross referencing each barcode electronically with the national registration database.

Randox Laboratories are committed to supporting the Government’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic and play an important role in national network of Pillar 2 (outside the NHS) laboratories testing those who may be currently infected with Covid-19.  Such testing is critical to the timely identification and containment of Covid-19 outbreaks and to reduce further spread.   It is acknowledged that the success of the testing program is essential to the social and economic well-being of the nation.

To support our operations Randox liaise very closely with Government planners responsible for the national collection and distribution of samples, and have built an additional 30,000 square feet of laboratory space and employed many more staff in order to increase capacity.  At the time of writing further increases in capacity are being implemented and planned.  Decisions on sample distribution across the Pillar 2 laboratory network are made at a national level.

Randox remain committed to effective and timely Covid-19 testing at scale –  this is work of national importance.

Press enquiries should be emailed to randox@newcenturymedia.co.uk 

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Randox selected to screen travellers to the UAE for Covid-19

02 September 2020

Randox selected to screen travellers to the UAE for Covid-19

Randox Laboratories selected to screen travellers to the UAE for Covid-19, with six sample collection centres across the United Kingdom and Ireland

Randox Laboratories has been selected by Pure Health, the largest laboratory network in the UAE, to test airline passengers flying into the United Arab Emirates, in accordance with the UAE’s requirement for travellers to prove they are not infected with Covid-19. Pure Health has been appointed by the UAE’s government to launch this pioneering project to promote safe travel.

“We are delighted to support Pure Health in their efforts to control the Covid-19 pandemic and facilitate safe travels for passengers flying into the UAE,” said David Adamson, Randox Laboratories, Business Development Manager.

“As one of the largest diagnostic facilities in UK, we are ideally placed to successfully deliver this ambitious initiative, and we are grateful for the trust placed in us.”

Randox Laboratories has already set up six collection centres across United Kingdom and Ireland. The programme is already up and running in London, Liverpool, Glasgow, Belfast, Antrim and Dublin.

“The UAE has trusted Pure Health with safeguarding it against any incoming Covid-19 threats, worldwide, this responsibility requires us to ensure we only partner with verified and accredited facilities around the world, thus why we have partnered with Randox Laboratories, to ensure that the screening process is of the highest quality and to ensure an excellent customer service for the travellers.” said Maria El Houari, International Passenger Screening Project Manager at Pure Health.

The UAE issued regulations that require all travellers flying into the UAE to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test. Travellers without such a certificate are refused entry into the flight.

The system is similar to the ESTA process in the United States. The traveller visits screening.purehealth.ae, chooses a testing location, selects a time slot, and completes the test at the agreed time and place. Test results are then transmitted to the UAE authorities, who use the data to cross-check arriving travellers against the border control database.

    For further information please email randoxpr@randox.com

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    Preparing Your Vineyard for Harvest: A Randox Food Diagnostics Blog

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    28 August 2020

    Preparing your vineyard for harvest: Excellence in every glass

    Each year from August through October and maybe a little later, the Northern Hemisphere comes alive with the excitement and rush of harvest as wine makers celebrate with festivals, dinners and get together as the yearlong grape growing season comes to an end and harvest begins.

    Producing the highest quality wine grapes is dependent upon many factors – mainly the right amount of sun and rain. The growing process can be stressful for winemakers as they anxiously keep a close eye on weather conditions, in hope that it’s clear of frosts, heatwaves and hail. These can all have detrimental impacts on the vineyard.

    However, this year it hasn’t been weather conditions that have been a worry for winemakers. Instead, many vineyards have been significantly impacted by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and events that once brought life to local communities and vineyards are now taking place online. Channels for selling wine such as hotels, restaurants and airports have dried up with current restrictions, and online and supermarket sales have never been more important.

    Like many industries the food and beverage sector has continued to operate through one of the most challenging times. Using a combination of expert knowledge and technology has ensured that the expectation put upon winemakers to create excellent wine is regularly achieved even in the toughest conditions.

    Did you know that a wide range of elements are measured to ensure perfection in every bottle, including levels of acidity and sugar ripeness relevant to the desired style of wine? Technology has been giving winemakers a helping hand in ensuring the quality of each harvest for many years including Randox Food‘s RX misano – a compact, fast and efficient benchtop spectrophotometer capable of gaining results in 8-15 minutes.

    For more information please visit Randox Food Diagnostics or email: info@randoxfooddiagnostics.com

    Want to know more?

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