|CONTACT: Jennifer Baker, Product Manager, 517/372-9200|
LANSING, Mich., April 3, 2003 — Working with the University of Nebraska’s Food Allergy Research and Resource Program (FARRP), Neogen has developed the first rapid tests to detect almond residues. The tests will be used by food processors to help protect food allergic consumers by quickly determining if almond residues exist in the processing environment, raw materials, or final product anywhere in the production cycle.
The almond tests add to Neogen’s line of food allergen test kits, which includes rapid tests for peanuts, milk and eggs. Neogen is the recognized leader in development and marketing of diagnostic tests to detect the inadvertent contamination of food with allergens that are not listed on the ingredient label. Unlabeled food allergens have been the cause of the majority of food recalls in recent years.
"Developing the food allergen tests for almond is an example of Neogen responding to the testing needs of the food industry," said Jennifer Baker, Neogen’s product manager for food allergen testing products. "We produced these tests after companies in the food industry, especially candy and cereal manufacturers, expressed their need to better monitor their raw materials, environmental surfaces and products for the unintentional contact with almond residues. In a collaborative effort with Dr. Sue Hefle of FARRP, we are continually working to develop other food allergen tests that are needed by the food industry to protect consumers."
Neogen’s new almond tests are in the same screening (Alert®) and quantitative (Veratox®) formats as its previously released food allergen tests, and utilize the same laboratory equipment. The new tests have received excellent response and consistent results from independent laboratories, and show no cross-reactivity to other tree nuts or peanuts.
"The new commercial almond test is yet another practical application that resulted from our ongoing food allergy research," said Dr. Sue Hefle, co-director of FARRP. "Using testing to validate sanitation procedures and in other ways in the manufacturing environment are important strategies in reducing the risk of undeclared allergens ending up in food products."
Neogen recently improved its Veratox and Alert for Egg Allergen test kits to detect both unprocessed and heat processed egg protein, and allow for a broader range of quantification. Both the Veratox and Alert tests were originally developed to detect only unprocessed or raw egg protein. The new range of 0-25 ppm of the Veratox for Egg Allergen test kit will allow for a broader quantitative range. Alert for Egg Allergen will continue to screen samples at 5 ppm.
Neogen Corporation (Nasdaq: NEOG) develops and markets products and services dedicated to food and animal safety. The Company’s Food Safety Division markets dehydrated culture media, and diagnostic test kits to detect foodborne bacteria, natural toxins, genetic modifications, food allergens, ruminant by-products, drug residues, plant diseases and sanitation concerns.
Certain portions of this news release that do not relate to historical financial information constitute forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks and uncertainties. Actual future results and trends may differ materially from historical results or those expected depending on a variety of factors listed in Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations in the Company’s most recently filed Form 10-K.