Neogen releases fastest, easiest test for methanol

June 01, 2011

Press Release
CONTACT: Sharon Graham, Neogen Europe Ltd., +44 (0) 1292 525610

AYR, Scotland, 01 June 11 — Neogen Europe Ltd. announced today that it has developed a test unlike any other — a simple and fast onsite screening test for methanol in alcoholic beverages. While methanol, a potent toxicant in humans, can occur naturally in very low levels in some alcoholic beverages, dangerous amounts of methanol are used in many parts of the world to create illicit beverages.

At low levels, the effects of the ingestion of excessive levels of methanol can mirror the effects of excessive alcohol consumption, including confusion, nausea, vomiting, visual problems and abdominal pain. Ingesting higher levels of methanol can result in stupor and coma — and in the most severe cases death.

“Unfortunately, the cost and time involved in sending samples to an outside laboratory to test alcoholic beverages for methanol has inhibited comprehensive safety testing in the industry. This new rapid, onsite test will be of the most benefit to those where conventional methods are not convenient to use,” said Neogen Europe’s Sharon Graham. “The new methanol testing technology developed by Neogen for use by anyone with just minimal training can simply and quickly help prevent products that pose potentially serious health hazards from ever reaching the consumer.”

Neogen’s new Alert® for Methanol is a 5 minute colour change field test for the determination of methanol contamination in spirits, beer and wine that can detect methanol levels as low as 0.5% (v/v).

The extremely simple test procedure involves combining premeasured lyophilized enzyme and liquid reagent with a sample in a vial. If the liquid in the vial turns an intense dark colour, the sample is positive for methanol at 1% (v/v) or more.

Neogen Europe Ltd., the European subsidiary of Neogen Corporation (NASDAQ: NEOG), is a high technology business dedicated to the development and marketing of novel diagnostic kits. These kits focus on topical concerns about the quality and safety of food and agricultural products, from the quality of seed that goes into the ground, right through the chain to the safety of fully processed food products. In 2007, Neogen Europe was awarded the Queens Award for Enterprise for international trade and development, one of the highest awards bestowed on a UK company.