Kent Science Park based company ToxiMet was recently awarded the prestigious Innovation Award at the International Nut & Dried Fruit Congress in Barcelona for their ground-breaking ToxiQuant system.
Professor Raymond Coker and the highly talented team of scientists based at Kent Science Park, Sittingbourne, developed the ToxiQuant instrument as a way to enable any company to easily, rapidly, and cost-effectively check the safety of their food products. The technology has numerous applications. The first use of the system is the measurement of mycotoxins, which are toxins produced by fungi and estimated to contaminate around 25% of crops worldwide. Some mycotoxins have been proven to cause cancer and in high doses can be fatal. They are also responsible for up to 60% of food imports rejected at European borders. The instrument was launched in May 2012, and has since been sold in many countries worldwide.
The INC (International Nut & Dried Fruit Council) was founded in 1983 and represents the interests of the worldwide nut and dried fruit industry. Spanning 65 countries, the INC unites over 600 companies, including brokers, importers/exporters, laboratories, manufacturers, packers, processors, producers and trade organisations. Honouring excellence and innovation, the INC Awards are the premier international showcase of excellence for the nut and dried fruit industry.
Ray accepted the prize on behalf of ToxiMet. He said: “This is an incredible achievement by the ToxiMet team, and a huge endorsement of our technology in front of the 1,100 attendees from 65 countries. Such recognition at this stage of the company’s development is invaluable. Testing for toxins is vital throughout the food supply chain. Until now, the accurate testing of food has been expensive and required the services of highly qualified technicians. We’ve changed that by producing an instrument which measures very low levels of toxin, with a high level of accuracy and has been designed to be used by non-scientists. We believe that food should be safe for everyone in the world and we’re working hard to make that possible.”
James Speck, Site Director at Kent Science Park said: “It is always so pleasing to hear about the success of businesses on the Park and the renown that they bring to Kent. To win an International Innovation award is an exceptional achievement and highlights some of the ground-breaking work taking place right here in Kent. It is an honour to have such world-leading experts working at Kent Science Park”.
Customers of the ToxiQuant system are filled with praise for the product, believing it has changed the way they work. Elham Farajpour, Quality Control Manager at Cap Kerman said: “We have found that the tests are more accurate than those contracted out and even more economical. We no longer have to purchase expensive HPLC instruments and are assured of equivalent results. Overall, we are extremely satisfied with the product and the technical support that ToxiMet has provided to us. We would have no hesitation in recommending this instrument to other companies”.
More details on ToxiMet can be found by visiting www.toximet.com.