New approach to food safety testing discovered

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Thanks to research on the way pigment-bearing cells change color in Siamese fighting fish, scientists have developed a new technology for detecting bacteria that cause illness.

The new, patented method developed by microbiologists at Oregon State University is said to be faster and easier than conventional approaches to assessing toxicity, although further studies are needed before it can be applied to commercial use.

In the study, Siamese fighting fish exhibited a change in the appearance and pigment pattern of pigment-bearing cells called erythrophores when the fish were exposed to threatening environmental conditions, including toxic exposure from illness-causing bacteria. Researchers found the erythrophores responded to bacteria associated with causing foodborne illness. They believe the method can be developed so that the toxic behavior of bacteria and not just the presence of bacteria can be detected.

The findings were published in Microbial Biotechnology.

Journal abstract



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