FreshTag Wins FDA Award

On June 11, the creators of a tag that can detect early decomposition in seafood will receive the FDA Award of Merit. Last year, Dr. Dwight Miller and Dr. Jon Wilkes invented the new food safety technology at the FDA's National Center for Toxological Research (NCTR).

Miller and Wilkes will receive the award, the agency's highest honor, from the Commissioner of Food and Drugs, Dr. Jane Henney in a ceremony at Rockville, MD. The two scientists will be commended "for significant and exceptional performance benefiting the public by designing and building a product that is a simple, quick and inexpensive method for determining the decomposition of food products."

"We are very fortunate to have been on the receiving end of this technology transfer," said James Cox, PhD, CEO of Cox Technologies. Cox acquired the FreshTag technology last year from the NCTR lab in Jefferson, AR. The company also has developed a new Rapid Detection Kit to be used in conjunction with the tag to enable a quantity of food to be tested using only a small sample.

"The applications of this technology are greater than just testing for the freshness of seafood," said Cox. "We are exploring the full range of applications in other protein products for processing, inspection, and eventual consumer packaging."

Earlier this year, Miller and Wilkes were the recipients of the 1999 Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer for their work on FreshTag. The award is given annually by the 25-year-old Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer. This was the first time an FDA laboratory invention was so honored.