Neogen has launched next-generation sequencing services, which will allow food companies to identify all bacteria in a sample through a single genomic test.

The new NeoSeek genomic service incorporates an application of 16s metagenomics, which in turn enables all bacteria to be determined in a sample without the need to introduce biases from culture media. Further, this will produce a bacterial isolate for each microbe in a sample.

As the new technology can compare several sample types, such as raw materials, environmental swabs and in-process materials, it enables food companies to gain a better understanding of all the bacteria that may be present in a food facility and their sources. This will in turn help firms necessary adjustments with regard to their food safety protocols.

Neogen food safety vice-president Ed Bradley said: "NeoSeek genomic testing services will provide food production companies a new and deeper level of information that was previously not accessible through traditional testing methods.

“Accurately and definitively determining the bacteria responsible for a food spoilage issue, for example, and where it may be located in a facility using one test, can help the food industry identify and eliminate food quality and safety concerns before they occur."

"NeoSeek genomic testing services will provide food production companies a new and deeper level of information that was previously not accessible through traditional testing methods."

The new NeoSeek tests will be undertaken at Neogen's GeneSeek facility in Lincoln, Nebraska.

An important aspect of the NeoSeek service is its bioinformatics, supplied by Metagenome Analytics (MGA). Bioinformatics will help Neogen build and maintain databases for the food industry.

The addition of 16s metagenomics to NeoSeek bolsters the portfolio of food safety genomic services.

NeoSeek genomic service includes Salmonella serotyping, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli (STEC) confirmation service and meat species identification.