New technology could offer cheaper, faster food testing

The new test involves using specialized droplets that bind together in a specific way if harmful bacteria are present. The result can be detected by either the naked eye or a smartphone.
Updated 09 May 2017
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New technology could offer cheaper, faster food testing

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed a new sensor that uses smartphone technology to detect harmful bacteria in food, including Escherichia coli (E.coli). The sensor was developed by the research lab of Timothy Swager, the John D. MacArthur professor of chemistry at MIT, in a project supported by MIT’s Abdul Latif Jameel World Water and Food Security Lab (J-WAFS) Solutions program.
J-WAFS Solutions is sponsored by Community Jameel, and aims to help MIT faculty and students commercialize breakthrough technologies and inventions that have applications for critical food and water challenges.
Current food safety testing often involves culturing food samples to see if harmful bacterial colonies grow, but that process can take as long as two to three days and is generally conducted offsite in specialist labs.
The new test involves using specialized droplets that bind together in a specific way if harmful bacteria are present. The result can be detected by either the naked eye or a smartphone, offering faster and cheaper food safety testing that could be carried out onsite.
According to the World Health Organization, one in ten people fall ill every year from eating contaminated food and 420,000 die as a result. Children under five years of age are at particularly high risk, with 125,000 children dying from foodborne diseases every year.
Providing a cheaper and more accessible technology could allow early detection of foodborne pathogens from producer to consumer, reducing the risk to the public of consuming contaminated food.
The J-WAFS was created at MIT to spearhead research that will help humankind adapt to a rapidly changing planet and combat world-wide water scarcity and food supply. In addition, the lab elevates MIT’s commitment to addressing the collective pressure of population growth, urbanization, and climate variability — factors that endanger food and water systems in developing and developed countries alike.


Bahri’s maritime solutions on show

Updated 18 min 22 sec ago
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Bahri’s maritime solutions on show

Saudi shipping company Bahri is demonstrating its commitment to advancing the growth of maritime industry and improving security in the logistics business at the International Defense Exhibition (IDEX) and Naval Defense and Maritime Security Exhibition (NAVDEX).

The events are being held under the patronage of Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al-Nahyan, president of the UAE and supreme commander of the UAE Armed Forces in Abu Dhabi from Feb.17-21.

Khaled bin Hussain Biyari, assistant minister of defense — executive affairs; General Awwad Eid Al-Balawi, director general of Saudi Arabian Border Guards; and other officials visited Bahri’s booth during the events.

As part of its participation, Bahri is showcasing its maritime capabilities and innovation-driven solutions at the largest defense expo in the Middle East. The company is also highlighting its unmanned surface vessels (USVs) at its booth. Powered by MAP Pro technology, which transforms any vessel into an autonomous one, Bahri’s USVs are capable of numerous applications, including gathering data, surveillance and reconnaissance. In addition, the vessels offer significant cost savings and reduce human workload in high-risk operations. 

Bringing together more than 1,310 specialized companies from 62 countries, both events offer a strategic business platform for exhibitors to present their latest naval, maritime and coastal security technology, equipment and crafts, and explore partnership opportunities with local and international companies. 

Abdullah Aldubaikhi, CEO of Bahri, said: “Events such as IDEX and NAVDEX provide a unique opportunity to gather new insights into new security technologies that can help companies thrive in a safe and secure trade. With Saudi Arabia being at the forefront of efforts aimed at maintaining stability and security in the region, maritime security is a key focus area for the Kingdom.” 

Aldubaikhi added: “Bahri’s presence at IDEX and NAVDEX 2019 is part of our strategy to further strengthen our offerings to enhance the Kingdom’s maritime capabilities and support its transformation as the world’s leading logistics hub. The exhibition also provides us with an excellent platform to connect with our customers and explore new partnership opportunities that will further drive our ambitious expansion plans.”

Bahri Logistics, one of the five business units within Bahri and one of the top 10 breakbulk carriers in the world, operates six new state-of-the-art multipurpose vessels that are capable of carrying different types of cargo, including project, ro-ro, breakbulk, equipment, and container cargo.