AB SCIEX, a global leader in life science analytical technologies, and Phenomenex, a global leader in separation science techniques, today announced a collaboration agreement designed to significantly improve food testing. Critical to the collaboration is the creation of a joint rapid response team responsible for developing the industry's highest-quality, most cost-effective methods. This partnership is expected to support efforts to prevent the spread of tainted food and help increase safety of the global food supply.
Recent food contamination crises have increased the demand across the food testing community worldwide for just-in-time methods for faster response, higher quality results and less expensive tests. To address this demand, scientists from AB SCIEX and Phenomenex will work closely with a broad range of food industry experts in specific applications, such as pesticides, antibiotics, allergens and natural toxins, to swiftly provide labs worldwide with verified analytical methodologies for emerging threats to food safety.
Expertise and resources from both companies combine to form a new global rapid response unit comprised of personnel from Phenomenex's method development research team and AB SCIEX's total solutions group. This joint network will better enable food testing laboratories around the world to test for emerging contaminants and more quickly identify the cause of tainted food than previously possible. Food testing scientists and analysts will be able to access this rapid response resource via the Internet to help them solve LC/MS issues that they face in their own laboratories.
Among the food testing application-specific experts who are part of the joint network of independent scientists working with these companies to help shape new method development is Dr. Michael Quilliam at the National Research Council of Canada in Halifax. He is a recognized expert on shellfish toxin analysis and is already working with AB SCIEX to develop an iMethod application to improve the identification and quantitation of shellfish toxins in the food supply. The application will involve the National Research Council's analytical methodology and certified reference materials. Dr. Quilliam uses both AB SCIEX and Phenomenex technologies in his laboratory.
As part of the collaboration agreement, Phenomenex will work with AB SCIEX to expand and sell the portfolio of AB SCIEX's iMethod applications and combine Phenomenex's state-of-the-art HPLC/UHPLC columns and sample preparation with AB SCIEX's industry-leading mass spectrometers. The combined resources simplify the process for food testing scientists to acquire complete methods to rapidly address food contamination crises.
iMethod applications are turnkey, verified methods designed to provide the instructions and parameters of how to most effectively conduct a test to identify food contamination with the highest confidence. These methods, which can be used through AB SCIEX's Cliquid® Software in multiple languages, have proven to reduce the time to results in food analysis from days to hours.
"We continue to push the limits of food safety testing to improve outcomes, especially in times of crisis," said Joe Anacleto, Vice President of the Applied Markets and Clinical Research Business, AB SCIEX. "By working with Phenomenex and sharing in their world-class expertise in this critical area, we believe we have pulled together complementary tools and testing capabilities to provide the most complete solutions for food testing laboratories. No other LC/MS/MS vendors have the expertise or range of products to make state-of-the-art food testing so cost-effective and easily accessible as AB SCIEX and Phenomenex do together."
Sky Countryman, Manager, Applied Markets Research Team, Phenomenex, added, "As we witnessed the recent food contamination crises, we realized that, along with our partner AB SCIEX, we are in a unique position to do something very impactful about it. Our collaboration with AB SCIEX offers complete solutions at a level that this industry does not currently have. Not only are we combining state-of-the-art sample preparation, chromatography and mass spectrometry, but we are also providing the opportunity for any lab in the world to access the ingenuity of leading experts in food safety analysis through our joint rapid response team."