COVID-19 BEAMitup will develop a diagnostic tool to improve on-site testing capacities of surfaces for the food industries to detect contamination or absence thereof, contributing to the security and resilience of the European agrifood system
As part of the EIT’s Crisis Response Initiative, this activity directly contributes to the European Union’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The aim of the COVID19 BEAMitup project was to build a diagnostic platform to enable the food industry to detect SARS-CoV-2 contamination. Importantly, the platform needed to:
- Meet the specific requirements of the food industry (ie be low cost and have a low limit of detection);
- Not be subject to shortages due to clinical testing demand;
- Improve the on-site testing capacity of food industries;
- Provide resilience to new pandemics and increase microbial contamination monitoring.
The project also developed a surrogate of SARS-CoV-2, which could be used to validate sanitisation procedures and allow challenge-tests. This work will enable the European agrifood system to be more secure and prevent disruption due to microbial contaminations.
SAFEbion-V is the first virus surrogate on the market that safely mimics the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It was developed and introduced to the market in 2021. The diagnostic device can validate and test sanitisation protocols and testing methods for businesses to trace the presence of the virus. SAFEbion-V can be used to test surfaces, products or packaging, or as an aerosol.