Researching the Evidence Investigator

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Researching the Evidence Investigator

The Evidence Investigator analyser is based on the award-winning Biochip Array Technology (BAT). Biochip Array Technology is a multi-analyte testing platform allowing the simultaneous quantitative or qualitative detection of a wide range of analytes from a single sample.

The Evidence Investigator is a semi-automated benchtop analyser which is tailored for the areas of research, forensic, clinical, molecular and veterinary testing. The key feature is the fast turn-around time the Evidence Investigator can process up to 44 results from a single sample, with a maximum throughput of up to 2375 tests per hour. The Evidence Investigator saves time because it will carry out multiplex testing which will allow multiple tests to be carried out from a single patient sample which in return will save time and resources. The machine is more suitable for medium throughput laboratories.

The technology offers a wide-ranging and diverse test menu which will benefit the research areas immunology, metabolic, Sport & Exercise, oncology and cardiovascular.  Randox Research provides the Evidence Investigator to the five research areas to help their research become more efficient, cost effective and accurate.

Randox works extremely hard with their research and development, over 16% of turnover is reinvested in R&D. The current collaboration Randox works along with are Royal Victoria Hospital, Queen’s University Belfast and Cambridge University.

Randox Biosciences are dedicated to assisting research projects to completion and will make available the technology to ensure the universities receive highly accurate results for their research. Randox creates their products in-house therefore provides the flexibility of the research project. Randox can provide the university a full range of arrays, biomarkers and analysers to meet their requirements of the research.

Within Cardiovascular Research, Randox offer a comprehensive menu of cytokines. The combination of highly specific antibodies and advanced chemistries enables cytokines, cytokine receptors and growth factors to be detected simultaneously in a single sample, providing valuable information relating to each cytokine under test and possible associations between cytokines in each sample which will benefit the research. Randox offer excellent tools for universities and hospitals researchers such as routine and novel assays and can provide research analysers such as the Evidence Investigator which is suitable for medium sized laboratory.

Oncology Research has 20 biomarkers that can be custom-made to be used on the Biochip. Randox Biosciences offers a wide and extensive test menu to researchers to enable the specific product tailored to meet their clinical trail requirements.

Metabolic & Nutrition Research is another area Randox offers a wide-ranging range of tests specifically directed to Metabolic and Nutrition Research. Randox offers reagents and arrays on the award-winning Biochip Array Technology.

For more information on our Research areas and the tests that we can provide, contact us at – Info@RandoxBiosciences.com


The key features and benefits of Biochip Array Technology

Biochip Array Technology

In 1992, Randox invested £180 million to create and introduce Biochip Array Technology (BAT) which converted laboratory testing. Randox came up with the innovation by recognising the major problem with traditional diagnosis. Within traditional diagnosis several tests are typically required which involves multiple blood draws from the patient, many visits to the hospital, increased reagent volume and increased time to diagnosis. Biochip Array Technology allows for the simultaneous quantitative or qualitative detection of a wide range of analytes from one single sample. Therefore, it is faster, cost saving and more effective leading to better clinical decisions. Today the technology (BAT) is used in countless laboratories worldwide and a range of three biochip analysers are now offered.

The main basis of the Biochip Array Technology

  • 9x9mm biochip which acts as a solid phase reaction vessel.
  • Each of the biochips are pre-coated with an array of discrete test regions (DTRs)
  • One biochip per sample used to generate multiple results.
  • Randox Biochips hold up to 49 tests.
  • Based on chemiluminescent signal emitting light, without heat which results a chemical reaction.

The key features and benefits of the Biochip Array Technology

Highly accurate testing
  • The biochip array technology provides high standard of accurate test results with CV’s <10%
  • Multiplex analysis minimises analytical variation between the tests.
Better diagnosis
  • Increased patient information available through testing multiple markers
  • Patients receive their results quicker compared to the traditional diagnosis.
 Reduced sample volume
  • Reduced sample required therefore patients feel more at ease.
Wide test menu
  • Wide test menu provides a variety for clients and allows flexibility.
Multiple samples
  • Multiple samples can be used on BAT which include the following; serum, plasma, whole blood, urine and many others which allows for flexibility in their testing
Cost consolidation

–  The process reduces the amount of time spent on individual tests and associated laboratory costs

Biochip testing platforms

Evidence Evolution

The Evidence Evolution is fully automated random-access biochip testing platform. The machine allows any test to perform at any time as it is a highly versatile analyser which can operate any workflow. It can receive 2640 tests per hour which means the machine has a fast turnaround time. As well as this, it allows multiple tests to be performed from a single sample which reduces time and resources spent on individual tests. The Evidence Evolution can be tailored to certain laboratory needs and have features including automatic start-up and shut down, relaxed testing capability and traceability of biochips. The equipment overall is made to be easy for the client to use as it includes customisable user settings and easy to follow result screens giving them the fast and accurate operations they would prefer.

Evidence

The Evidence Analyser is the protein Biochip Array technology. Like the Evidence Evolution it is fully automated which is suitable for busy laboratories, hospitals, forensic and clinical toxicology. The machine is floor standing and can receive up to 3690 per hour. The machine has features such as easy to follow software and customisable user settings which gives laboratories the opportunity to receive fast and accurate results.

Evidence investigator

The Evidence Investigator is often used for research, clinical, forensic, molecular and veterinary testing.  The machine is semi-automated and can combine immunoassay and molecular diagnostics on a single platform with protein and DNA biochips. This machine also has a quick turnaround time with the ability to achieve 2376 tests per hour with 44 analytes screened per biochip. The evidence investigator provides more tests on the test menu which allows variety.

Evidence MultiSTAT

The final platform is the Evidence MultiSTAT. The Evidence MultiSTAT is a fully-automated analyser which provides quality results. It is a simple and easy to use analyser which requires minimal training with only three steps to complete the process. The machine can provide multiplex testing yields up to 46 results in under ten minutes. It is ease-of-use for non-laboratory staff and provides full traceability of user action with password controlled software.

For more information on our Biochip Array Technology contact the Randox Biosciences team by emailing info@Randoxbiosciences.com

 

 

 

 


Randox Toxicology: Southeast Asia’s Drug Networks

Southeast Asia’s economy is booming, increasing every year by 5% and is expected to continue to grow due to an expanding consumer market, a young workforce and increasing regional cooperation. However, these are not the only markets experiencing the boom. The region’s illicit markets are also enjoying a surge.

Drug labs in Southeast Asia are releasing two to six billion methamphetamine tablets a year into the black market, which NPR reports is more tablets than cups of coffee sold by Starbucks.  A lot of these tablets go into China and Thailand, with more finding their way to Bangladesh each year. As a result, seizures of meth tablets have gone up in the last 10 years in Bangladesh by 80,000 percent.

China not only receives large quantities of drugs to be sold on the streets, it also produces them.  As China is soon set to become the world’s largest economy it now has plenty of people who can afford the products. So the drug lords and dealers are moving towards this market. This means that drug cartels don’t have to go further afield to sell their drugs.

China’s “One Belt One Road” plan has also enabled the easier trafficking of drugs. The plan is to connect the world with highways, ports, airports, and train lines to allow commerce to move to and from China easily. This connected infrastructure has made it easier for smugglers to move their products from A to B.

Randox Toxicology’s DoA ULTRA panel detects 20 targeted drugs including methamphetamine and amphetamine. Utilising our patented Biochip Array Technology, DoA ULTRA offers the most comprehensive drugs of abuse screen across multiple forensic matrices and provides the largest cross-reactivity profile of over 240 analytes from a single sample.

Methamphetamine S(+)-Methamphetamine 100
LOD: 10 ng/mL PMMA HCI 291
5-MAPB HCI 136.1

If you would like to find out more information about our revolutionary Biochip Array Technology and DoA ULTRA panel, email us at info@randoxtoxicology or visit www.randoxtoxicology.com

 

 


Assessing the risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease

World Alzheimer’s Month

World Alzheimer’s Month is a global campaign to raise awareness and highlight the challenge that surrounds the disease, hosted by the Alzheimer’s disease International (ADI) every September. During this month World Alzheimer’s Day also takes place, 21 September each year.

47 million people are living with Alzheimer’s worldwide, costing 604 billion USD per year. This number is expected to rise to 76 million people with the disease by 2030.1 The FDA have not approved a medication for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease since 2003. More than 400 clinical trials are currently looking at new treatments for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and many of them are actively recruiting. Many still regard the amyloid hypothesis as a key explanation for Alzheimers disease development and progression.2

Alzheimer’s risk

Alzheimer’s disease is not necessarily inherited as a single-gene mutation as the inheritance pattern is incredibly complex. Unlike familial Alzheimer’s disease, a multi-gene form usually affects those aged 65 and older. The gene with the greatest known effect on the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer’s disease is called apolipoprotein E (APOE). It is found on chromosome 19 and the APOE protein plays a role in handling fats in the body, including cholesterol. 3

ApoE plays a key role in lipid metabolism and the scientific and medical community recognise it as one of the most powerful genetic risk factors for dementia and other neurodegenerative diseases. It has become one of the most widely studied gene variants in Alzheimer’s disease and constitutes a major consideration for preventive medicine.

ApoE exists in three common isoforms (ApoE2, ApoE3 and ApoE4) which are coded by three co-dominant alleles (e2, e3, e4). As such, six common ApoE phenotypes exist within the general population: E2/E2, E3/E3, E4/E4 (homozygous) and E2/E3, E2/E4, E3/E4 (heterozygous). Medical professionals recognise the presence of the ApoE4 isoform as a major genetic risk factor for development of Alzheimer’s disease. Therefore, the availability of analytical methods for rapid and reliable ApoE4 classification is advantageous.

Evidence Investigator

The Apolipoprotein E4 (ApoE4) Array is a research use only product developed for the Evidence Investigator. The ApoE4 Array measures both total ApoE protein levels and ApoE4 protein levels directly from plasma samples and using a ratio can classify patients as negative or positive for ApoE4. In turn we can then assess their risk for the  development of Alzheimer’s disease.

2-plex Biochip Array

  • Pan ApoE
  • ApoE4

An individual’s ApoE status has been shown to affect pre-symptomatic risk, diagnosis, prognosis, and treatment response for a variety of diseases, in particular Alzheimer’s disease. The ApoE4 Array can rapidly and accurately detect an individual’s ApoE4 status directly from a plasma sample. In combination with medical and family history, medication and lifestyle, this can deliver valuable information for personalised medicine approaches.

The 2-plex diagnostic Alzheimer’s test has the utility to detect the likelihood of a person’s chance of developing the disease to assist in the research and development of a potential drug to combat or slow down the process of Alzheimer’s.

1 https://www.alz.org/global/overview.asp

2 https://www.brightfocus.org/alzheimers/article/clinical-trials-alzheimers-disease-whats-new 

3 https://www.alzheimers.org.uk/about-dementia/risk-factors-and-prevention/alzheimers-disease-and-genes

 

For further information about the Randox Alzheimer’s Array, please email info@randoxbiosciences.com

 

 

 


Biotin Supplementation Interference in Health Diagnostic Testing

Continuing our theme of Biotin (Vitamin B7) this month, we turn our attention to its role in diagnostic testing.

With as many as 20% of people taking biotin-containing supplements, including high profile celebrities such as Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian and Vanessa Hudgens, it is important to know the effects it can have on particular blood tests, should you visit your GP or local hospital.

Whilst there are various diagnostic health tests out there, including fertility hormone tests, prostate tests, and tests for troponin – a marker released into the blood during a heart attack – that are known to be affected by elevated levels of biotin, there are other tests available, including those provided by Randox, that are not impacted.

The reason that so many non-Randox tests are impacted by biotin is that biotin is widely used throughout the biotechnology industry in the development of diagnostic tests.

ELISA tests in particular (tests that measure the reaction of antibodies to identify a substance) often make use of antibodies labelled with biotin, to detect toxins or other foreign substances within the body.

In most instances, the biotin will bind with high affinity to a protein called streptavidin. This affinity of streptavidin for biotin is the strongest non-covalent biological interaction known, and is therefore particularly useful in binding antibodies within diagnostic tests.

But with more and more people exceeding the recommended daily dosage for biotin (30 micrograms) by taking up to 10,000 micrograms of biotin in supplements marketed for beauty reasons, many diagnostic tests are being measured inaccurately. Excess biotin in the blood can block the binding of biotin-labelled antibodies to streptavidin within the tests, and the substance being tested won’t be measured accurately.

Laboratory professionals have known about this potential problem for some time. In late November 2017, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) published a safety notice to make the public and healthcare practitioners more aware that biotin can “significantly interfere with certain lab tests and cause incorrect test results.”

The FDA even reported on one particular case in which a patient died following falsely low troponin (marker of a heart attack) results when the troponin test used was known to have biotin interference. Biotin supplements masked the true diagnosis of a heart attack.

Many patients taking biotin supplements have also been misdiagnosed with a condition called Graves’ disease, an autoimmune condition characterised by an overactive thyroid. In these cases, biotin supplementation led to falsely low levels of thyroid stimulating hormones, and falsely high levels of other thyroid hormones. This particular profile of hormones led to a Graves’ disease diagnosis, in spite of a lack of symptoms, which in Graves’ disease would usually include muscle weakness, a quickened heartbeat, sleeping problems, diarrhoea, weight loss and poor tolerance of heat.

In pregnant women, tests that are impacted by biotin interference may produce falsely low levels of beta HCG, more commonly known as the ‘pregnancy hormone’ as it released by the placenta after conception. With low levels of beta HCG, and therefore no confirmation of pregnancy, pregnant women could be exposed to X-rays and CT scans that may harm the developing foetus.

So, what can be done? Suggestions have been made that patients taking biotin supplements should be made to wait before any diagnostic testing is conducted, so that the biotin clears from their system.

But this “Wait and Watch” approach certainly would not work in emergencies. In the case of a heart attack, testing must be conducted as soon as possible to allow for diagnosis, immediate medical intervention and follow-up testing.

At Randox, we are convinced that the risk of analytic interference by biotin supplementation is a serious problem that needs to be more widely recognised and promptly addressed.

In the GP setting, general practitioners must ask their patients if they are taking any biotin supplements and inform the testing laboratory if interference from biotin is a possibility. They should also consider that lab results not matching with a patient’s signs and symptoms may be caused by biotin interference.

In the acute care setting however, it is imperative that biotin technology is not used in diagnostic testing to protect patients from misdiagnosis and subsequently, further health problems.

This is why Randox’s patented Biochip Array Technology does not use biotin technology in its development. This revolutionary methodology, free from Biotin-Streptavidin is not impacted by elevated levels of biotin from biotin supplementation in the same way as Biotin-Streptavidin tests.

So if you have been taking biotin supplements for hair or nail growth, to ease symptoms associated with Multiple Sclerosis, for epilepsy or for a range of other health conditions, and your diagnostic testing has been conducted using Randox Biochip Array Technology, you can rest assured of true, accurate, and reliable results.

Randox Biochip Array Technology is interference-proof.

For further information on the Randox Biochip, visit https://www.randox.com/multiplex-testing/

For any additional questions, please contact Randox PR by email: randoxpr@randox.com or by phoning 028 9442 2413

 

 

 

 

 


Antibodies & Human Recombinant Proteins

Randox Biosciences is a world-leading primary manufacturer of high quality monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies, antibody fragments and human recombinant proteins. Our team of scientists possess unrivalled expertise which enables us to provide you with a comprehensive suite of products and services dedicated to advancing biopharmaceutical research and diagnostics.

Product Portfolio

Randox Biosciences offers an extensive portfolio of over 900 products for a multitude of R&D applications including more than 500 monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies and over 140 human recombinant proteins as well as antibody fragments, buffers & diluents and plasma.

Monoclonal Antibodies

  • Biochemical markers: Biochemical messengers, fatty acid binding proteins and products with applications in the following therapeutic areas; cardiovascular/cerebrovascular and metabolic/Nutrition
  • Drugs of abuse: Alcohol, anti-depressants, barbituates, hallucinogens, opiates, stimulants
  • Drug Residues: antimicrobial drugs, growth promoters, mycotoxins

Polyclonal Antibodies 

  • Biochemical markers: Biochemical messengers, fatty acid binding proteins and products with applications in the following therapeutic areas; Immunology, Oncology, Cardiovascular/Cerebrovascular and Metabolic/Nutrition
  • Drugs of abuse: Alcohol, Analgesics, Anti‑depressants, Barbituates, Benzodiazepines, Hallucinogens, Opiates, Sedatives, Stimulants, Synthetic Drugs, Therapeutic drugs
  • Drug Residues: Anti-inflammatory Drugs, Antimicrobial Drugs, Anti-Parasitic Drugs, Growth Promoters, Mycotoxins

Recombinant Antibody Fragments

  • Single chain variable fragment (scFvs)
  • Single domain antibodies (sdAbs)

Frozen Human Plasma

  • Available in three formats (Male, Female and Mixed Gender)
  • Highly screened for; HIV, Hepatitis B+C, HTLV I + II, Syphilis, CMV and Procleix WNV

Human Recombinant Proteins (E.Coli & Mammalian)

  • Adhesion Molecules
  • Chemokines
  • Cytokines
  • Proteases
  • Tumour markers

Buffers & Diluents

  • Complementary range available

Key Features & Benefits

  • All products manufactured at our ISO 13485 accredited UK manufacturing plant
  • Product range of over 900 products
  • 30 years’ experience in raw material manufacture and assay development
  • Many unique and novel products including designer drugs, Mycotoxins and oncology markers
  • As our host animals are sheep, our antibodies have higher sensitivity and specificity
  • Excellent reproducibility between lot numbers
  • Products reflect the components used in-house in the production of Randox diagnostic products and research programs
  • Highly experienced in developing difficult targets (i.e. small molecules and novel biomarkers)
  • Full customisation service available
  • A range of pack sizes available including bulk quantities for commercial development
  • Products can be used in a multitude

Custom Development Services

To meet your precise requirements, Randox Biosciences offer customised antibody generation services to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. Our custom development service, which encompasses antibodies and human recombinant proteins has achieved tremendous success within the biopharmaceutical and diagnostic industries. Key components of our custom service are our range of monoclonal antibodies as well as our recombinant antibody fragments (sdAbs, scFvs, fAbs).

Our customisation service has proven incredibly successful in the research and development industries allowing access our expertise to obtain the antibody and protein most relevant to your line of work. With over 300 highly trained research scientists and over 30 years’ experience in commercial assay development, Randox Biosciences can also provide a tailor-made assay development service to meet your specifications in both a timely and cost-effective manner.

For more information contact: info@Randoxbiosciences.com

 

 

 


Randox pioneers health testing innovations at world’s largest diagnostics conference

World-leading medical diagnostics manufacturer Randox Laboratories is this week showcasing advancements in biotechnology at the world’s largest diagnostics conference, being held in Chicago, Illinois.

The American Association of Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Annual Meeting and Clinical Lab Expo, known as the leading event for laboratory medicine worldwide, offers Randox the opportunity to showcase their capabilities to more than 20,000 healthcare professionals and decision makers from around the globe.

“Our pioneering diagnostic technologies are leading the way in innovation and have real potential to transform healthcare around the world,” said Randox Managing Director, Dr Peter FitzGerald.

“At AACC we will be hosting demonstrations of a wide range of our intuitive multiplex analysers, including the revolutionary Randox Evidence Evolution, the world’s first fully automated random-access testing platform, capable of delivering 2640 results in one hour, with the first delivered in just 37 minutes.”

The unique and unrivalled capabilities of the Randox Evidence Evolution are made possible thanks to Randox’s patented Biochip Array Technology, which can currently run 49 different tests simultaneously – ensuring an accurate and reliable diagnosis as fast as possible.

Launching at this year’s AACC event are a number of exciting new tests on the Randox Biochip, the result of a £280 million investment in research and development. Including but not exclusive to a diagnostic test for the differentiation of hemorrhagic and ischemic strokes, an algorithm capable of generating a patient’s Type 1 Diabetes Genetic Risk Score, and a test to diagnose Acute Kidney Injury (AKI) in the participants of pharmaceutical drug trials, these new tests all share the common goal of much earlier and effective diagnosis, to greatly improve healthcare outcomes and reduce the burden on healthcare services.

Dr. FitzGerald continued;

“We remain committed to developing new health diagnostic technologies for a range of the world’s most pressing health issues in need of the most urgent address, and to expanding the business in our key markets, such as the US.

Our very significant investment in research and development means that we have more new tests in development than any other healthcare company in the world and are able each year to bring a wealth of exciting new technologies to the American market.

“We look forward to showcasing our latest innovations at this year’s AACC conference, and how they can be utilised to save, improve and extend lives through the earliest possible diagnosis. Randox technology can truly revolutionise the future of healthcare.”

AACC runs from the 29th July – 2nd August at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois. Randox can be found at booth #3624.

For further information visit aacc.randox.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Sri Lanka taking measures to tackle the opium abuse crisis

Cannabis continues to be the most reported drug abused in Sri Lanka, however cannabis related offences have decreased from 66.2% to 61.9% in April – May 2018. Heroin is the second highest drug abused at 28.8% of those arrested in April and 35.9% of arrestees in May engaging in heroin related offences. Hashish, babul, madana modaka, opium, methamphetamine and tablets are other prevalent drugs abused in Sri Lankan drug related offences that have been noted. Although cannabis related crime has decreased, drug prevalence and drug related offences are increasing in the country. 

Sri Lanka has been taking measures to tackle the abuse of opium, cannabis and certain psychotropic substances since its independence in 1948. Opium is not cultivated in Sri Lanka, however over the past decade Sri Lanka has been used as a trans-shipment point for heroin from South West Asia and India to other destinations outside of the subcontinent. Heroin seized prior to reaching Sri Lanka is roughly two – three times the quantity of heroin seized in Sri Lanka itself.

Randox Toxicology are the leading manufacturer of the patented Biochip Array Technology (BAT). BAT is a precision multiplex testing platform allowing for the simultaneous quantitative or qualitative detection of a wide range of analytes from a single sample. After the addition of a sample to the biochip, analytes present in the sample bind to the specific biochip bound ligands. The degree of binding is determined using a chemiluminescent light source and quantified using a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) camera and imaging system.

Additionally, our range of immunoanalysers include the Evidence, the Evidence Evolution, the Evidence Investigator and the Evidence MultiSTAT which individually utilise our Biochip Array Technology for the screening of drugs of abuse. Our extensive toxicology test menu covers a broad range of classical, prescription, synthetic drugs and new psychoactive substances. With multiple matrices available, Randox Toxicology are a global leader in the Toxicology market.

Randox Toxicology offer the most comprehensive Drugs of Abuse (DoA) test menu across multiple forensic matrices. Our DoA II panel can detect opium and generic opioids. Our level of expertise in toxicology research and development allows us to adapt quickly to ever changing market influences and develop assays for current and novel drug trends.

To find out more about the DoA II panel and our other available test menus, email info@randoxtoxicology.com or visit randoxtoxicology.com.

 

 

 

 

 

 


The Issues Surrounding Drug Residues in the Global Food Market

The potential presence of drug residue contaminants in food products destined for human consumption is an increasingly popular topic of conversation in the industry but what are the main challenges facing the industry to tackle this potential issue?

Drug residue contaminants in food products is a discussion that involves the global community but each individual country or trade bloc has their own protocols and regulations relating to the control and monitoring of residues. The different legislations are designed to protect the general public as well as the food industry interests in their individual countries. Any business that wishes to sell their products within other countries or regions must meet their legislative requirements relating to drug residues. These differences in regulations have increased the need for increased dialogue on the issue as well as the implementation of effective monitoring systems.

The industry must deal with the potential of residues from antibiotics and growth promoting hormones entering the food chain. This will involve ensuring correct dosage per animal and also adhering to withdrawal periods set for their region. The second issue the industry faces is the stigma received from the misuse of these antibiotics and growth promoting hormones.

While there is a potential for misuse it should always be noted that a producer’s main concern should always be animal health, which leads to a quality end product. The use of antibiotics is to ensure the health of the animal and to reduce the potential knock on effect of untreated diseases which could create a downturn on yield. Growth promoting hormones are used to increase this yield also but should never be done so at the expense of a safe end product.

Residues from particular drugs in food produce can have serious implications for human health. As such many countries have set Maximum Residue Limits (MRLs) or tolerances for these residues in food.  The Maximum Residue Limit is the maximum concentration of a residue that can be present in a product from an animal or animal by product intended for the food supply. These MRLs mean that it is required by law in the enforcing countries that any product in the food chain cannot contain residue levels that are harmful to human health above these limits.

There has been controversy over measures to tackle drug residues in foods as there are no internationally accepted standards for many drugs. Ractopamine in particular has caused trade disputes as it is permitted in food production in some countries like the US & Canada, but the European Union, China, Taiwan and over 100 other countries have banned its use.

The real challenge the food industry faces is ensuring their testing methods are effective and reliable to ensure the safety of a variety of end products. To name a few of these diverse products we can look at the dairy, meat, seafood, feed and honey markets.

Dairy Market

The dairy industry is under constant scrutiny and pressure to constantly produce high volumes of milk whilst maintaining a superior standard of quality in their dairy products. As part of the production process various contaminants are administered to cattle in an effort to systematically treat various infectious diseases and maintain a healthy herd. A direct consequence of this is the requirement of routine monitoring and testing within farms and dairy processors to ensure that the levels of contaminants in milk are within legal regulations not exceeding Maximum Residue Limits and that unauthorised substances are not found at any level in milk.

Testing can be conducted at several points during the production process. Firstly, farm level testing can be carried out to screen milk from cows that have been separated from the herd and undergone antibiotic treatment. Secondly, the dairy processor is required to conduct testing both onsite taking samples from tankers and retrospective testing as a method of internal surveillance to ensure the milk supplied from several farms is within global regulatory limits. Thirdly, retailers can test the processed milk end product to guarantee the milk is antibiotic free before it’s added to supermarket shelves for consumers.

Meat Market

Global meat production and consumption have increased rapidly in recent decades. Worldwide meat production has tripled over the last four decades and increased 20 percent in just the last 10 years. Meanwhile, industrial countries are consuming growing amounts of meat, nearly double the quantity in developing countries. Mass quantities of antibiotics are used on livestock to reduce the impact of disease, contributing to antibiotic resistance in animals and humans alike. Worldwide, 80 percent of all antibiotics sold in 2009 were used on livestock and poultry, compared to only 20 percent used for human illnesses.

Growth promoters, which are tested for under the NRCP, are hormonal and antibiotic substances that may be used in food producing animals for growth promotion in livestock animals thus increasing the production of muscle meat and the reduction of fat. The type of growth promoter used is dependent on the animal species and mode of rearing with steroid growth promoters used for beef cattle and antibiotic growth promoters, which are usually added to feedstuffs, such as the coccidiostats used in the poultry industry and chlortetracycline used in the porcine industry. The rapid speed of meat production calls for the need to test for drug residues frequently to prevent them from ending up in the food chain.

Seafood Market

The global aquaculture industry has grown steadily over the past five decades, increasing at an average rate of 3.2%. However, this growth has come at a cost, with the industry facing many new challenges. Farmed seafood is often treated with medicated feeds which contain antibiotics such as leucomalachite green and nitrofurans for example to prevent from disease spreading, they are also exposed to other harmful residues used to treat algae etc. within the ‘pens’ where they are kept.

The FAO (2012) reported that 38% of fish produced globally is exported, highlighting the imbalances in regional supply and the changing tastes of the global consumer. This increased level of exporting and importing shows the importance of drug residue screening within the global aquaculture industry. This increased level of exporting and importing shows the importance of drug residue screening within the global aquaculture industry.

Feed Market

The global animal feed processing market is estimated at US$21.61 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach US$ 26.62 Billion by 2023. The market is driven by factors such as the rising awareness of feed nutrition and health, technological advancements in the equipment industry and increase in the demand for feed around the world. Medicated feeds containing veterinary are often used to help prevent disease within livestock and there are MRLs for feed which has created the need for testing as high levels of residues can have an effect on livestock health and also transfer through to meat products for human consumption. With humidity levels rising in recent years there has been an influx in the level of mycotoxins found within feed and cereals. These toxins are fungal and can affect both livestock and human health for example mycotoxicoses which is a disease which can affect the respiratory system. The main cause of mycotoxins within stored grains are when the grain is damp or cracked and kept in insufficient storage conditions. These factors have made it necessary for feed and cereals to be tested for both drug residues and mycotoxins to ensure that they do not end up within the food chain.

Honey Market

The global honey market is growing at a rapid pace and the global consumption of honey is to reach 2.5 million tones by 2022. This growth is driven for consumers demand for natural and healthy alternatives to artificial sweeteners over cane sugar. There is also a growing awareness of the health and healing benefits of honey which is driving the demand for the use of honey for medicinal use, manuka honey sales continue to grow for its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. The rapid rise in demand for honey outweighs the amount that can be produced in a natural form globally due to a decline in the number of bees. This has influenced the quality of honey being produced as some producers take to diluting natural honey with high-fructose corn syrups in order to supply the demand. There is a requirement for keepers to treat bee colonies with antibiotics to prevent CCD and other diseases such as varroa mites and there is a chance that these harmful drug residues can be transferred through to the end product ‘natural’ honey. The use of antibiotic drugs in apiculture is globally restricted and there are no MRLs set for antibiotics in honey as it a natural product and needs to be antibiotic free, this has cause the need for testing both for drug residues and the overall quality of the honey being produced.

Detection

Due to the requirement to use a variety of drug treatments in the food industry and also the potential economic benefits to be gained from the use of growth promoters, there will continue to be use in animal production. However, as analytical methods of detection become more sensitive, producers are given further options for testing.

The surveillance for the potential presence of these residues of veterinary substances is regulated by the EU Directive 86/469/EEC. This directive outlines the guidelines for sampling and testing within a residue monitoring programme.

The requirement to meet these standard and the MRLs and detection levels outlined in the legislation has created a need for analytical methods to become more sensitive to ensure correct analysis. On some occasions MRL’s have been lowered which require a technology sensitive enough to detect very low concentrations in a sample.

One such screening method that is commonly used is the Enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) methods, which work well for testing and providing accurate results.

Randox Food have developed another method of analysis using the Evidence Investigator which uses similar methodology to ELISA methods. The analyser uses biochip array technology (BAT) to perform simultaneous quantitative detection of multiple analytes from a single sample and can be used across multiple matrix types including the products produced by the industries mentioned.  The core technology is the Randox biochip, this contains an array of discrete test regions containing immobilized antibodies specific to the drug residues under test.

These methods are rapid, reliable, and sensitive so are able to detect residues in very small concentrations. The Randox methods are developed in line with EU Directive 86/469/EEC and as such are an effective testing method for multiple areas of the food industry.

For further information please contact the Randox Food Diagnostics team by emailing: info@randoxfood.com

 

 

 

 

 

 


The future of healthcare has arrived at The Goodwood Festival of Speed

You visit the doctor because you think there is a problem. The doctor suspects it may be an infection but she’s not sure. A blood sample is taken and sent to the laboratory where three to five tests are run on it. Your blood does not show a positive reading for any of the tests conducted. You still don’t know what’s wrong.  Does this sound familiar?

Enter a pioneering piece of technology called the Biochip. This health testing platform, from global diagnostics company Randox, and on show at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed, can currently run 49 different tests simultaneously – making sure you get the right diagnosis as fast as possible.

Current and futuristic developments in this critical strand of medicine, involving detailed analysis of blood to identify both current and future health risks, are appearing as part of the festival’s Future Lab project.  Those visiting Future Lab will learn how technology can be utilised to improve the speed and accuracy of health diagnoses across the world.

With further plans to expand and enhance the Biochip even further – with capabilities to run over 1024 tests on a single blood sample – this technology is set to revolutionise the future of healthcare.

Randox Founder and Managing Director, Dr Peter FitzGerald, commented;

“For years we’ve been working behind-the-scenes with hospitals and laboratory professionals and, until now, our contribution to improving healthcare would not have been evident to the general public. But we know now that it’s time for us to come out – our technologies have the potential to transform healthcare around the world, and that matters to everyone.  

“More sensitive, comprehensive and accurate technologies hold the promise of much earlier and effective diagnosis, often before symptoms appear – greatly improving healthcare outcomes and reducing the burden on healthcare services.  And these technologies are directly available to the individual through our consumer division Randox Health, not just through GPs or hospitals.

“It is also a fact that diagnostics have historically been undervalued – in healthcare systems around the world laboratory technologies account for around 2% of overall budgets, yet 70%-80% of all healthcare decisions affecting diagnosis or treatment involve a laboratory investigation.”

Sensing the potential to improve healthcare through diagnostic innovation, Randox has invested significantly in the development of Biochip Array Technology, allowing many tests to be run simultaneously.

Dr FitzGerald continued;

“It’s taken over £285 million to see the fruition of this, the gold standard in testing. Our 300-strong team of research scientists and engineers are committed to exploring the thousands of markers of health and illness within the body and to each year unveil pioneering and innovative new tests to add to the Randox portfolio. Thanks to an annual investment of around 16% of turnover in this research and development, we have more innovations in development than any other healthcare company in the world.”

One such innovation, the concept of which is due to be revealed at the Goodwood Future Lab for the first time, is the unrivalled 32×32 Biochip. This highly anticipated testing platform will remarkably be able to provide patients with 1024 key pieces of information about their current and future health.  Combined with advanced algorithms, the effect will be truly revolutionary.

Dr FitzGerald added;

“The 32×32 Biochip is key to unlocking true personalised medicine. Ultimately it acts as a roadmap of your health by predicting the health conditions of which you are personally at risk in the future. By taking preventive action you will be empowered to live healthier for longer. It’s the world’s first technology of its kind, capable of extending your life.”

The Randox Health Mobile Clinic, in which the public can directly access Randox technologies in the form of the world’s most comprehensive health check, will be at the Goodwood Hotel on Tuesday 17th and Wednesday 18th July.  Those wishing to book can call 0800 2545 130 or can find out more by visiting the Randox Health website or downloading the app.

For further information please contact Randox PR by email: randoxpr@randox.com or by phoning 07980 738 120

 

 

 

 

 

 


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