Queen's University scientists have created new technology to detect toxins in shellfish.
The American Food and Drugs Administration is offering QUB a $500,000 grant to develop the test for use on fishing boats and the university has signed a ‘substantial’ contract with the UK-based company Neogen Europe to commercialise the idea.
The test, which is likely to revolutionise the global fishing industry, detects those shellfish poisons which paralyse anyone who consumes them and kills around 25% of those poisoned. It slashes the testing time from two days to just 30 minutes and provides a much more reliable result.
Leading the €10m BioCop project involving 32 international research partners and the European Commission, is Professor Chris Elliott, Director of the Institute of Agri-Food and Land Use at Queen’s University’s School of Biological Sciences, who said:
“The test will not only make shellfish safer to eat, but it will also have a significant impact on global aquaculture industries as they struggle to deal with the rising problems of toxins caused by climate change.”