February 26, 2013

Point-of-need DNA testing for horse meat will be available in less than three months

  • Food Fraud
  • News

By InstantLabs

Baltimore, MD – February 26, 2013 – InstantLabs, developer of the portable Hunter®Accelerated Real-Time PCR® system, announced today that it is developing an Equine Food Verification Test Kit that will allow food processors and importers to quickly and confidently test for horse meat (and related species such as donkey) at the point-of-need. InstantLabs’ Equine Verification Test Kit uses real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) technology to detect minute amounts of horse DNA in raw or processed food samples. InstantLabs expects to ship the test kit in less than three months.

InstantLabs is developing the Equine Verification Test Kit in response to interest from a broad range of food processors and customers. InstantLabs’ food purity product line also includes the Porcine Verification Test Kit that is being successfully used by major multi-national food companies for testing of ingredients and final products before shipping. The Equine Verification Test Kit is designed to run on InstantLabs’ Hunter® system, a platform that accurately provides rapid and affordable pathogen DNA detection at the point-of-need.

“Given the recent increase in horse meat found in foods and ingredients, there is a growing need for rapid, accurate detection of equine in food products,” said Steven Guterman, Chief Executive Officer of InstantLabs. “Our Porcine Test Kit has been well received by the market, and we expect that the Equine Verification Test Kit will provide food processors and importers with yet another cost effective tool to protect their food quality.”

InstantLabs’ Hunter® System and Food Safety and Verification Test Kits, designed for use at the point-of-need, simplifies and speeds detection of dangerous bacteria and undesirable ingredients in food products. The test kits are available to the food industry and import/export organizations worldwide, for whom the ability to deliver the highest quality food products in the shortest possible window of time is crucial to public health and overall success of the organization. In addition to the Porcine Verification Test Kit, InstantLabs has tests available to detect dangerous foodbourne bacteria including Salmonella species, E. coli assays for 0157 and the “Big Six”, Listeria Species and Listeria monocytogenes.

The use of RT-PCR has historically been limited to large centralized labs with highly specialized staff. Barriers to its wider use have included the amount of space required for multiple large components, technical complexity, and prohibitive cost. InstantLabs removes these barriers with its fully-integrated, compact, and affordable Hunter® system, which requires only modest space and basic technician training to deliver gold-standard testing at points-of-need.

InstantLabs, a molecular diagnostic device company, developed and markets the Hunter Accelerated-PCR® system, a fully-integrated, portable and affordable real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) platform for rapid, accurate pathogen detection. The company currently offers the Hunter system for use with several foodborne pathogen and verification test kits for the global food industry. The Hunter® system is especially well suited for use at points-of-care and points-of-need to detect and analyze a wide variety of common and problematic pathogens. InstantLabs’ growing worldwide customer base includes some of the leading food industry firms. InstantLabs is also developing products for additional markets, including medical diagnostics and veterinary health where gold-standard accuracy, combined with ease-of-use and rapid results, are critical. InstantLabs was founded in 2008 and is located in Baltimore, Maryland. For more information please visit

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