"I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the IAFP Annual Meeting in Providence and visit the MIT booth. First , the atmospherics- of interest, since this is an initial introduction of the MIT 1000 to the food processing and food safety world. This a really significant event, a major conference in an impressive venue- the Rhode Island Convention Center. Look it up on their web site. It was attended by hundreds, if not more than a thousand food safety and processing professionals. It goes on for several days with many conferences, meetings and lectures. Many big corporations were exhibiting, with very expensive and flashy presentations, including 3M and Fisher Scientific, and we actually compared rather favorably. The MIT booth was very professionally set up, with displays, ongoing video productions explaining everything, the required "chotkes", including MIT pens, brochures and booklets. There was an actual, very impressive unit there for inspection. There were four staff members there, including Gary Delmel, Dr. Haavig and Mr. Nunez. Importantly, even though the conference exhibition had just opened, there was already a steady stream of interested individuals coming up to the booth- all seeming to be be positive and impressed.
I had a long discussion with Dr. Haavig, who was very positive and very erudite. He explained the workings of the unit in detail, demonstrated how simple it was to use. He described how they have a very good and close working relationship with the USDA which is very excited about our technology. He explained the AOAC approval process- how there are two parts- the "ruggedness" and reliability testing, which the company does, and the accuracy testing, which is done by a third party- in this case by the USDA. They did the testing for the Listeria certification, and are doing the E Coli and Salmonella testing. Prior to each testing regime, a long period of discussion goes back and forth between the company and the AOAC. Once that is established and agreed upon, then testing ensues, taking 1 to 3 months followed by a short period of evaluation and reporting. It seems like the actual testing process takes several months and that is where we are now, with still 2-3 months to go. So far all is good and there is no worry about any problems with the certification. It is simply a matter of going through the time consuming process. He emphasized the MIT 1000's accuracy, usually requiring just 10 particles- bacteria- for identification. This is a big advantage over other methods, which require generating an ultrapure sample over 24-48 hour. Despite what some ill informed posters have stated, there is no competing method that gives instant results. Moreover, since the MIT 1000 requires so few organisms, as soon as a colony is visible- in just about 6-8 hours (not 24-48 as has been erroneously stated ad nauseum), it can be analyzed- and this then takes just seconds to minutes. Other advantages over other, complex methods, such as PCR, include that no special ultraclean conditions need to be maintained, no highly trained research scientist is needed, and there are no toxic or radioactive reagents needed- just water and a simple swirl in a glass vial, that nearly anyone can be trained to do.
The unit itself is very sleek and stylish- important for marketing- but functional and simple to use- with basically just an on and off switch. Also important- for those self serving doubters who keep questioning the OSI connection- you can read the OSI label right on the circuit boards!
I think one of the most important testimonials was that my wife- who I dragged along- and who, like most spouses, is skeptical of all things "penny" and iHub- was even very impressed and joined in the discussion. Very positive.
More, including discussion with Mr. Nunez and photos to follow."