Neogen's Veratox® for Histamine receives AOAC approval

September 25, 2007

Press Release
CONTACT: Jennifer Baker, Product Manager, 517-372-9200

LANSING, Mich. Sept. 25, 2007 — Neogen Corporation has received approval from the AOAC Research Institute for its simple 25-minute quantitative test for histamine that eliminates the need for the use of hazardous materials in the testing process.

Neogen’s newly approved Veratox® for Histamine (AOAC-RI No. 070703) is a direct competitive quantitative ELISA test for the detection of histamine in fresh, canned, or pouched tuna, packed in either oil or water.

“The alternative official method is very labor intensive, and requires the use of hazardous materials that need special handling and disposal,” said Ed Bradley, Neogen’s vice president of Food Safety. “The Veratox method uses a simple water extraction and provides a very efficient sample batching ability. These advantages can reduce testing time by as much as 75%, and eliminate these chemical disposal concerns for some of the world’s largest tuna processors. That provides a real cost savings—and saves valuable time and manpower.

“In addition, none of these advantages come at the expense of precision and accuracy,” Bradley continued. “The extensive AOAC validation study has shown the results of the Veratox method to be an excellent match with the results using the previous official method.”

The Veratox for Histamine AOAC validation studies were performed on fresh, naturally contaminated tuna, as well as canned and pouched product. The test uses a uniquely simple water extraction process, and returns results in the range of 2.5 to 50 parts per million. The study showed a 95.4% recovery rate of spiked samples, when directly compared to the AOAC official fluorometric method, and no cross-reactivity to all other commonly occurring biogenic amines.

Histamine is produced in certain types of fish when microbes break down the amino acid histidine. Elevated temperature and time abuse of harvested fish accelerate the growth of microorganisms normally present in the fish, increasing the breakdown of histidine to histamine. Human scombroid poisoning is caused from consuming fish with high levels of histamine.

Everyone is susceptible to scombroid poisoning, and its symptoms typically occur within two hours of ingesting spoiled fish. Its symptoms include flushing of the face and upper body, severe headaches, palpitations, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, severe itching and potentially partial paralysis. Cooking fish does not prevent scombroid poisoning.

Neogen Corporation (Nasdaq: NEOG) develops and markets products dedicated to food and animal safety. The company’s Food Safety Division markets diagnostic test kits to detect foodborne bacteria, natural toxins, genetic modifications, food allergens, drug residues, plant diseases, and sanitation concerns, and dehydrated culture media.