Murdoch University paves the way for grain quality

June 15, 2012

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Murdoch University’s Separation Science and Metabolomics Laboratory (SSML) has been awarded the coveted National Association of Testing Authorities (NATA) for an innovative multi-pesticide residue test.

The test, known as RESCHEK, has been developed over the past four years with the CBH Group, Western Australia’s largest grain handling company. RESCHEK tests for pesticide residue in grains to ensure its safety for export and human consumption.

The new accreditation means Murdoch can now offer the RESCHEK platform to other grain handling companies and farmers – a big plus for the industry, according to Dr Bong Sze How, SSML Operations Manager.

“The RESCHEK platform can detect more than 150 pesticide residues in a multitude of grain types in less than 24hrs,” Dr Bong said.

“Many of the tests currently used by farmers and grain handling companies can take up to a week to detect only a handful of compounds.”

SSML’s Scientific Director, Associate Professor Robert Trengove, said the fast turnaround, high sensitivity and low cost makes it ideal for exporters in a highly competitive market.

“The RESCHEK platform uses the latest advancement in mass spectrometry technology to ensure that we stay ahead of the competition,” he said.

“The rapid turnaround of our test platform means that farmers and marketers are able to target export markets quickly and effectively without facing the usual delays at the grain testing stage. This protects Western Australia’s reputation as a supplier of consistently clean, high quality grain.”

Phil Hocking, the Director of Research and Development, said the accreditation was a reflection of Murdoch University’s commitment to research in agriculture and food security.

“Our researchers continue to respond to new challenges in the sector by providing industry-focused solutions using best-practise methodologies,” he said.

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