Hand-held technology capable of detecting anthrax spores and other bacterial spores within minutes is being taken to the international marketplace. The product will be marketed by Veritide Limited, a new Christchurch start-up company developing biological identification and detection equipment.

So no more Anthrax in my office :)

How important is a bacterial spore detector? There are hundreds of white powder incidents each week in the world. A white powder incident is when an unknown substance spills from an envelop or is discovered in a building. There is no simple, rapid test that first responders can currently use to rule out the possibility that the powder contains anthrax spores. In most instances, the powder is sent to a laboratory where the identification process can take three days. “Three days is too long for someone potentially exposed to anthrax spores to wait. If someone is exposed to anthrax, treatment should begin immediately. It is the goal of Veritide to provide this crucial information to protect everyone.” according to Neville Jordan.

“Our bacterial spore detector is as simple to use a torch.” explains the inventor, Lou Reinisch. “Our target is a device that can be used while wearing a hazardous material suit and does not destroy the sample to permit further testing. Our approach to spore detection is unique.”

The technology has applications in medicine and food processing in addition to bioterrorism. Veritide sees a line of products that will be developed and built in New Zealand. “We intend to be known as a company that provides security and peace-of-mind.” adds Neville Jordan.

Biosecurity has always been important to New Zealand, so the broader scope of Veritide to develop a full range of biological detection and identification products is a natural fit.

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