FAQs about Food Testing and MIC Molecular Testing


Getting Started

  • There are a few basic requirements, such as a separate, dedicated lab space that is not connected to the production floor with at least 100 square feet of space. Beyond that, every situation is different; we can help walk you through the basic concepts or put you in touch with someone who can help you design a space from scratch.

  • If you have an established lab, you may have everything you need. Key equipment includes a heat block, pipette, and centrifuge. Contact us for more details; we’d be happy to help you determine what your facility needs.

The Hunter® System

  • The Hunter® can do both depending on the test kit used. Our Food Safety and Species Identification Test Kits are qualitative; we also have test kits that have been developed for industrial applications that are quantitative.

  • The Hunter® Real-Time PCR Instrument is programmed to automatically analyze, interpret, and display the test results for you. Also, you can also examine the PCR curves on the instrument or in the PDF report.

  • DNA targets can be found everywhere, not just in food, and InstantLabs is here to help you find them. Aside from testing your food products, our kits can also be used in a variety of ways to help you maintain a clean, safe product. This includes environmental testing, water testing, incoming raw ingredients testing, cosmetics testing, and more. If you have a specific problem you need help solving, contact us. We’re here to help design a test specifically for you and your issue.

  • The Hunter® does not require and external computer or network connection, but it does have the capability to be connected either via a wireless or wired (Ethernet) connection. This will allow the Hunter® to email reports or export data to a network drive when the run is complete.

  • The Hunter®’s difference lies in its ease of use. It was designed to work in your facility, at the point of need. The small system requires little experience or time to operate and gives gold standard results.

  • The Hunter® device is based on industry-proven real-time PCR technology. Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is considered the gold-standard technology for the molecular detection of nucleic acids. Real-time PCR is a newer high-sensitivity method that allows for monitoring of the PCR reaction in real-time using fluorescent signals. The Hunter® automates and simplifies the real-time PCR process, allowing this powerful technology to be used virtually anywhere.

Food Safety

Species Identification

Background Information

  • We admit, we are biased, but most agree with us: real-time PCR offers the best of all worlds. Traditional culture methods, while accurate, can take days to get results and must be analyzed by a trained microbiologist. More information about the differences between the real-time PCR and traditional culture methods, please check out our blog, Traditional Culture Methods or PCR: Which is Right For You? ELISA and immunassays are also quick, but lack the accuracy that real-time PCR provides. Isothermal amplification, while similar in technology to real-time PChttp://instantlabs.wpengine.com/traditional-culture-methods-or-pcr-which-is-right-for-you/R, is ill-suited for foodborne pathogen testing, as the variability in the specific strains found makes designing the chemistry for isothermal amplification less accurate and less sensitive than real-time PCR. This often results extended enrichment times.

  • AOAC is a globally recognized third party not-for-profit organization charged with developing and maintaining scientific solutions to industry problems based on known standards. When a product has AOAC’s Performance Tested MethodSM stamp of approval, you know that product has been rigorously tested and performs as well as or better than international standard testing methods.

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