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Sensor Technology for Food analYsis

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Stefy (Sensor Technology for Food analYsis)

Reporting period: 2014-10-01 to 2015-03-31

Stefy proposes a breakthrough sensor system for quality food testing: Stefy is portable, cheaper and faster than competitor solutions, with the key feature of multiplexing that allows the end users to analyze dozens of molecules at the same time.
Within Stefy-Phase-1 funded by H2020SMEINST-1-2014, Proxentia srl assessed the technical and economic feasibility on the innovation proposed. The operational capacity of all the steps necessary for device components production and the further scale up has been demonstrated, ensuring the constant repeatability of the technology performance. About 400 SiO2-coated glasses, which are at the basis of the Stefy technology (Reflective Phantom Interface), have been prepared and tested for their optical activity. After demonstrating the scalability of the coating process, about 400 sensing surfaces have been prepared binding specific antibodies to detect selected molecules target. Stefy demonstration, in fact, focused on the three main applications foreseen for Stefy exploitation and commercialization: the detection of a) toxins in flour; b) toxins and allergens in wine and c) allergens in processed foodstuff . The sensing surfaces prepared have been embedded into disposable cuvettes and sensibility detection tests against different molecules have been performed. In real wine samples, tests confirmed the outstanding limit of detection of 0.5 g/ml for allergens (being from 1 to 10 g/ml the limit required by the legislation). Even higher sensibility of detection, 50 pg/ml, has been demonstrated for Alfatoxin, (being from 2 to 10 ng/ml, admitted by the legislation).
Thus, the reliability of Stefy technology and the process production scalability, without loss of performance, has been confirmed, paving the way to a sound validation phase that will open the doors for a fast market introduction. Economic aspects have been also considered during Stefy-Phase 1: a deep market analysis showed that rapid tests market segment in Europe, being worth about 100€ mln, let foresee a penetrability of 5% by five years. Competitors’ analysis resulted in the evidence of several Strengths and Opportunities for Stefy market introduction that will satisfy the main end users’ need identified. Customers’ needs analysis have been conducted by means of interviews and surveys that confirmed the strong interest from flour and wine industry to introduce an innovative and faster technology which will make them autonomous allowing them to save costs for external laboratories analysis and allowing them to timely detect in house presence/absence and concentration of several molecules simultaneously at a very low cost. Furthermore, ProXentia, started a stakeholders’ engagement campaign, collecting feedbacks and expressions of interest among the biggest flour and wine producers or distributors that will support the Stefy-project development.
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