Milk and milk products have been liked by all babies and adults and add to this list Good and Bad bacteria. Milk is known for its health values but it is also an ideal medium for bacteria growth and causes various food-borne illnesses, especially if consumed in raw, unpasteurized form. Generally, milk is tested by researchers in the US for specific pathogens or harmful bacteria and viruses. This is where IBM and Cornell University differ, they wish to take it one step further where they plan to use DNA sequencing to find bacteria by creating new analytical tools that can monitor raw milk. Yes, you hear it right it plans to monitor milk straight out of the udder and instantly detect any abnormality that could turn out to be a food safety hazard.
IBM has a large and diverse portfolio of products and services. Nicknamed “Big Blue”, IBM is one of 30 companies included in the Dow Jones Industrial Average and one of the world’s largest employers, with (as of 2016) nearly 380,000 employees.
In response to putting their plan into action, they will first need to minutely familiar with the substance and the microorganisms that tend to contaminate it. They will be carrying out tests to sequence and analyze the DNA and RNA of dairy samples from Cornell’s farm, as well as of all the microorganisms in environments that milk tends to make contact with, including the cows themselves, right from the moment it’s pumped.
These test will help standardize what is normal for a raw milk and it becomes easier using the tools if something is even if it’s an unknown contaminant we’ve never seen before.
Martin Wiedmann, Gellert Family Professor in Food Safety, from Cornell University said in a statement:
This project, however, is just the beginning. They plan to apply what they learn to other types of products and ingredients in the future in order to ensure that they’re safe for consumption, especially if they were imported from abroad.