DNA Diagnostic featured in Danish Agriculture and Food council newsletter

Friday, August 27, 2021

A fast-as-lightning method for screening and detection of bacteria in food products

Many people will have become familiar with the term "PCR" during the corona pandemic, but fewer people will have knowledge about the full potential behind the method. The Biotech company DNA Diagnostic A/S does!

When the corona pandemic first spread around the world DNA Diagnostic launched a rapid test for corona virus detection that was sold abroad, before it was rolled out in Denmark. But the company has a much broader range than this. Keep reading and gain more knowledge about the smart PCR method used within the Food Safety area.

From leukemia testing to food safety

The company DNA Diagnostic A/S is located in Risskov, Denmark, where it was founded in 1992. The Danish Biotech Company started successfully with the production of screening test kits for leukemia that, to this day, is still sold to hospitals worldwide. With this method a simple and user friendly test kit can screen for variations in the DNA of a patient, so that the hospitals can commence the correct treatment as soon as possible. DNA Diagnostic thought to themselves; " If we can screen and test for illnesses and changes in the DNA, what else can we do?" This thought lead to screening test kits for food produce! This is how the idea for test kits for food safety came to life.

Today DNA Diagnostic A/S are successfully using the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technique. It is a rapid and accurate method of testing for foodborne pathogens (illness inducing bacteria) in different industries within the spectrum of food safety and animal production. Therefore this method is also highly relevant in the production of ingredients. If a commodity is contaminated, there is a risk of the ingredient for the final product to be contaminated as well. As an example 16 different pathogens in milk and the critical pathogens in milk powders, that are often included in other products such as infant formula, can be screened for. By using this rapid PCR method you will get results within few hours, compared to time consuming cultivation of bacterial cultures.

Clients all around the world

Around the world different bacteria cause challenges for each country, worldwide the common issue is the requirement of great food safety standards to ensure food safety for the consumers. Salmonella and Listeria are examples of bacteria that are relevant to screen for across all markets, where tests that provide accurate and validated results within few hours are needed. DNA Diagnostic have distributors and customers basically worldwide. The primary customers are large companies producing food and large private laboratories, selling services and analysis but also hospitals using the leukemia test kits.

Among the 25 employees at DNA Diagnostic A/S a wide range of different competencies are represented. Biochemists, veterinarians, microbiologists and laboratory staff that are not only developing products, but also contributing with expert advice before, during and after the startup of PCR-laboratories.

PCR is a technology where genetic material (DNA) is copied in an enzymatic reaction. This technology makes for many possibilities of usage, whereas detection of pathogens by copying DNA regions specific to the pathogen of concern, is one of them. The PCR technology provides advantages such as rapidness, high sensitivity and selectiveness, as well as being relatively cheap.

Link to the Danish article: https://lf.dk/for-medlemmer/virksomhedsmedlem-hos-os/ingredients-biotech-bulletin/2021/august-2021/dna-diagnostic