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  • Alex Bond

From Lab to Field: The Science Behind FreshCheck's Game-Changing Solutions

Hygiene Importance

In the food industry, and especially for poultry producers like Creedy Carver, maintaining high hygiene standards is not just a regulatory requirement. It is also a foundation for maintaining consumer confidence as well as ensuring the longevity and reputation of the business. Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) testing has been relied on for years, but it is not without challenges - high unit and service costs, reliance on a fragile reader that works in the non visual spectrum and the risk of false positives limits their effectiveness.

hygiene testing

Colour-Change Chemistry

Understanding these challenges, FreshCheck set out to revolutionise the status quo, developing a solution grounded in advanced scientific principles. At the heart of our technology is a colour-change chemistry. This is a process whereby a dye bound to an iron ion changes from blue/purple to green through to yellow when microorganisms secrete molecules called 'siderophores', which they use to scavenge iron from their environment to continue to grow. These molecules remove the iron from our colour-change liquid, triggering the colour change and providing a clear visual indicator of microbial presence.

Rigorous Testing

Taking this scientific principle from the lab to the field required extensive testing and refinement. In the lab, we tested our technology for sensitivity, specificity, and stability. We used a bacterial analogue and then actual bacteria to confirm our technology could accurately detect harmful levels of bacteria, a finding later tested and seen by Campden BRI. We introduced common materials, such as cleaning chemicals, to confirm the specificity of our swabs. We also subjected our swabs to heat, movement, and chemical degradation tests to confirm they were stable and would have a long shelf life at room temperature.

But FreshCheck's approach goes beyond the science. We believe in the importance of integrating customer feedback and practical needs with our research. This ethos is embodied in our partnership with Creedy Carver.

Practical Application

Creedy Carver, a family-run business, has specialised in producing top-quality Free Range Duck and Chicken for over 30 years, earning a reputation for great flavour and high meat yield. The company values animal welfare and sustainable farming, concepts that align seamlessly with our own values at FreshCheck. They've evolved and grown over time, responding to shifts in demand towards free-range poultry, using low energy feed to promote leisurely growth in their birds and providing a product full of flavour with plenty of meat on the carcass. As they've grown, so too has their commitment to social responsibility, with 10% of their farm now converted into a nature reserve and various projects in place to support homeless and at-risk individuals.

Expert Training

When we started working with Creedy Carver, they didn't have a prior hygiene verification system and were concerned by the set up time and costs of current techniques. Drawing on our shared values and our scientific expertise, we provided them with comprehensive guidance on establishing a sample plan and monitoring hygiene results. We trained their team in using our swabs and software, and highlighted the benefits of effective hygiene testing for reporting purposes.

Sustainability Emphasis

Our collaboration with Creedy Carver illustrates how FreshCheck integrates scientific research with practical applications and customer feedback. By listening to their needs and understanding their values, we were able to provide a solution that not only met their hygiene verification needs but also aligned with their commitment to animal welfare and sustainable farming.

Continued Commitment

As we progress, FreshCheck stands firm in its mission to "Make contamination visible". We strive to revolutionise hygiene testing by providing user-friendly, cost-effective, and real-time solutions that transform the invisible threat of contamination into a visible entity. This not only enhances accountability within industries but also works towards safeguarding public health on a larger scale. By pushing the boundaries of scientific innovation and maintaining a customer-centric approach, we aim to not just meet industry standards, but set new ones for hygiene practices across the board. Join us as we embark on this transformative journey towards a safer, healthier future.


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