The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Food Safety Challenge has announced two winners for its 2014 competition--Purdue University, and runner-up Pronucleotein, Inc.

Purdue will claim a $300,000 prize while Pronucleotein wins $100,000.

Purdue’s Winning Submission
“... a physical method for concentrating Salmonella to detectable levels using automated microfiltration, which could decrease sample preparation time from 24-48 hours to a range of 2 to 3 hours. Michael Ladisch, distinguished professor and director at Purdue University, leads the team, and is joined by Eduardo Ximenes, Kirk Foster, Seockmo Ku, Amanda Deering, and Thomas Kreke. To strengthen their submission during the Field Accelerator phase, the team focused on adapting the instrument to achieve higher sample throughput while maintaining sensitivity.”

The Purdue team (pictured) plans to continue working with their FDA mentors to further develop their cell concentration prototype into a commercial system for food safety laboratories to utilize.

Pronucleotein’s Winning Submission
“... features a portable device for rapid pathogen screening using DNA aptamer-magnetic bead sandwich assays. It promises a total assay processing and analysis time of about 30 minutes. Dr. John Bruno, vice president and CTO of Pronucleotein, Inc. heads the team and is joined by James Byron, CEO of Xgenex. During the Field Accelerator, the Pronucleotein, Inc. team focused on seeing how they could ease the burden of FDA inspectors at ports through rapid screening of suspect foods.”

The team will use their $100,000 prize money to seek AOAC certification for their existing assays and to help with gaining market share.