Micro Identification Technologies Inc. is poised to make huge profits in the food safety/healthcare sectors with the release of its new MIT 1000, a system designed to satisfy the growing demand in both industries for a rapid microbial identification solution to prevent food borne illness and provide robust patient screening for Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) in hospitals.
In the US alone, there are 76 million cases per year of food borne disease, mostly resulting in 1-2 day illnesses which cause pain and discomfort leading to an overall drop in economic productivity; however, there are an incredible 5,000 deaths each year, and over 325,000 hospitalizations, from contaminated foodstuffs, according to CDC data.
As astounding as this statistical data may seem in this day and age, with all of our advanced technology, yet worse is additional US data from the CDC which indicates an alarming 6-9% annual rise in MRSA contamination, resulting in over 278,000 hospitalizations in 07 alone.
Executive Vice President and COO of MMTC, John Ricardi, sees the MIT 1000 as being able to strike a deathblow to these insidious problems by replacing the current bacterial identification workflow in both food processing and MRSA screening environments, which consists of an inordinately time-consuming, cumbersome and costly process that requires a sizeable sample sent off to a well-equipped lab with a trained microbiologist who can culture and analyze the sample – a process requiring an unacceptably long minimum time span of 48-72 hours (a figure which has remained relatively unchanged for over a century).
The MIT 1000 can complete the same pathogenic bacteria identification workflow process in 10 minutes, a whopping 99.65-99.77% reduction in time. Additionally the system’s functionality and small form factor make it ideally suited to field work, resulting in downstream efficiencies wherever the device is employed.
At 1.25 cubic feet and weighing less than 25lbs. the MIT 1000 is easily portable; instead of a large scraping sent off and cultured in a lab, then examined under the microscope by a trained scientist, anyone with a half-day training can easily operate this device.
Ricardi stated his intention to go after the lucrative Food Processing market first, where he envisions massive growth in demand for testing needs due to the globalization of US food sourcing and mounting pressures for efficiency within the industry itself, citing the increased speed and volume with which “product is moving through the supply chain” as the key factor increasing the number of contamination events.
The MIT 1000 uses a no-reagent process that requires only a small sample placed into the test vial, which is then subjected by the machine to the beam of its high-quality solid-state laser (600 nanometer, 30-45 molecular weight, 100 micron).
The beam strikes the material, and an array of 35 photo detectors surrounding the test vial collect data representing the “light scattering intensities that are generated when a cell intersects the laser beam”. These patterns are then compared, by the computer, to a vast database of such patterns stored in the device which are unique to each species of bacteria.
The patterns are like a fingerprint, and the database is like a library of fingerprints. By comparing the observed patterns from the sample with the library, the system is able to quickly identify bacteria and thus determine contamination in the sample when 10-50 organisms have been successfully fingerprinted.
According to industrial diagnostics industry-leading analyst Strategic Consulting, Inc., the MIT 1000 can do for $0.10/test what would currently cost you $2.85/test from existing rapid ID, with savings attributable to the MIT 1000’s superior design.
Ricardi intends to push the 2Q release of the device via a global manufacturer and distribution network that extends beyond the US into 10 countries, in order to grow sales quickly and make the Company cash flow positive within one year on the success of what is destined to be big hit.
Ricardi also pointed out that beyond MRSA and food contamination, the MIT 1000’s systems could easily be used in multiple other industries like clinical diagnostics, pharmaceuticals, drinking water, and even semi-conductors.
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