Once limited to research applications, NSF International’s new next-generation sequencing (NGS) services are now available to the food, bottled water and dietary supplement industries

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – NSF International, a global public health and safety organization, is expanding its commercially available DNA analysis services for food safety and supply chain management to include next-generation sequencing (NGS) techniques once limited to research applications. NSF International’s NGS services include whole genome sequencing, shotgun metagenomics, 16s metagenomics and genomic barcoding.

“These services were developed within the rigor of a commercial research setting,” said Jesse D. Miller, Ph.D., Director of NSF International’s Applied Research Center, which is spearheading the testing. “We’re now offering that same level of rigor and NSF International quality in a package individualized for each of our collaborators. ”

Miller has 18 years of experience in molecular biology and genomics, focused on clinical and food safety diagnostics development. He has authored over a dozen patents and is a frequent presenter at conferences and workshops on the applications of NGS, most recently at Natural Products Expo West in March 2018 and chairing and convening a session at IAFP Europe in April 2018.

“Next generation sequencing is a powerful leap forward in organism analysis,” said Miller. “Through knowledgeable use of simple processing, bioinformatics tools and workflows, we are able to understand and elucidate every base pair of an organism and every organism in a population.”

NSF International’s new NGS services can be used in the following ways to ensure supply chain safety:

  • Bacteria: Whole genome sequencing, shotgun metagenomics, 16s metagenomics, and genomic barcoding are used to identify individual organisms, compare and track organisms, and map the bacterial community in a sample, including identifying potentially dangerous bacterial contamination of products.
  • Botanical ingredients: whole genome sequencing and genomic barcoding are used to identify and authenticate botanical content in products.
  • Proprietary blends: whole genome sequencing and genomic barcoding are used to identify and authenticate the contents of proprietary blends.
  • Meat and seafood: genomic barcoding is used to speciate and identify product components.

“The service is much more than testing. It’s individualized for each project,” said Miller. “We collaborate with our partners to design a program or suite of experiments that addresses their problem and therefore helps drive decision-making with a commitment to the safety and integrity of their products.”

Food quality and safety professionals can use an NSF International online resource to request a sequencing project with variables for sample type and bioinformatic services or by contacting Kristen Lauderdale at email klauderdale@nsf.org or +1+843-607-2736. Miller will also convene a session about NGS at the annual meeting of the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP), held in July 2018.

Editor’s Note: Media interested in interviews or more information can contact Thomas Frey, APR, at media@nsf.org or +1-734-214-6242.

About NSF International: NSF International is an independent, global organization that writes standards, and tests and certifies products for the health sciences, food, water and consumer goods industries to minimize adverse health effects and protect the environment. Founded in 1944, NSF is committed to protecting human health and safety worldwide. With operations in more than 175 countries, NSF International is a Pan American Health Organization/World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center on Food Safety, Water Quality and Indoor Environment.

NSF’s Applied Research Center provides custom research and development services for all major industries including contract method development; testing and consulting services in chemistry, microbiology, genomics and toxicology; product claim verification; lab quality/management; methods training and human health risk assessment.