Dave Alburty, CEO
Inside the massive, stainless steel tanks that hold thousands of gallons of beer, even a tiny unwanted bacterium could turn the brew into an acrid, undrinkable slop. Despite brewer’s yeasts being their best friends, spoilage organisms can easily become their worst nightmare. Most brewing companies today report 20 percent or more loss of revenue because of cross-contamination during the brewing stage, and they have to destroy whole batches of sour or exploding beer. Even though there have been traditional microbiological plating techniques to help brewers test microbial contamination of their brews, the processes are incredibly time-consuming. Microbes could be multiplying unseen in brewer’s products or the brewing environments, while microbiologists wait for the results to show up on petri dishes. And, with breweries, like most businesses, time is money. To speed up the turnaround time for easy and fast detection of bacterial and wild yeast contamination, Missouri-based InnovaPrep offers an extensive array of microbial collection and concentration tools. InnovaPrep is engaged in product development, sales, and out-licensing of a group of novel tools for modern microbiology.
InnovaPrep’s novel tools provide the critical macro-to-micro interface between real world samples and the input volumes of modern molecular methods for analysis.
They increase sensitivity and enable a faster, easier, and more efficient means of delivering the most highly-concentrated sample possible for its subsequent analysis in a variety of biomonitoring applications. The company leverages its patented technology and tools for efficient collection and concentration of biological particles from a specific environment. “Our first-of-its-kind native technology enables the promise of rapid detection of microbial contamination in ways that have not been available before,” asserts Dave Alburty, CEO of InnovaPrep. Notably, the company’s Wet Foam Elution process serves as the backbone for the other tools developed by InnovaPrep and enables instant recovery of particles from filters, membranes, surfaces, and objects. The primary utility of this process is to improve the way biological samples—especially dilute samples—are collected and prepared for analysis. The Wet Foam Elution process is similar to how liquid would be used to rinse particles off a membrane filter tangentially. However, it is much more efficient than liquid rinsing as it offers volume expansion, bubble dynamics, and exfoliating action, along with increased viscosity.
Adjacently, the Concentrating PipetteTM —one of the widely used tools developed by InnovaPrep—provides a rapid concentration of pathogens, spoilage organisms, and other particulate contaminants. Users can screen their products for quality in a single shift, thus saving money for labor, product hold times, and wasted packaging in the case of a recall. Moreover, the one-pass method of Concentrating Pipette offers robust filtration using high-flow single-use pipette tips followed by instant sample recovery into a clean buffer through the patented Wet Foam Elution process.
In addition to the Concentrating Pipette, InnovaPrep has also developed ACD-200 Bobcat—a lightweight, portable, dry filter air sampler with a unique rapid filter elution kit. The innovative air sampler is being extensively used in the food and beverage industry to monitor product contamination by aerosol. The product has also found its usage in biosurveillance, agricultural, and animal health applications.
Today, even NASA is leveraging InnovaPrep’s rapid sample collection and delivery technologies. The space agency is using InnovaPrep tools to protect the water supply on the international space station and is developing water purification process monitoring tools for long-term space missions like the Mars 2030 exploration program.
InnovaPrep is now developing similar capabilities to help detect viral contamination. Besides, the company is also increasing its manufacturing capacity to be able to facilitate over a million contamination tests in a given year. “For the coming months, we are poised to enhance our product portfolio and strengthen our existing product offerings for a healthy future,” concludes Alburty.