InstantLabs’ Hunter Food Testing System

Portable real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) platform delivers food safety and fraud results in-house

Portable food testing system for accurate pathogen and species detection

The Hunter Real-Time PCR System combines speed, accuracy, and affordability in an easy-to-use instrument for pathogen and species detection in the global food industry.
The Hunter Real-Time PCR System combines speed, accuracy, and affordability in an easy-to-use instrument for pathogen and species detection in the global food industry.

The Hunter® Real-Time PCR System from the molecular diagnostic device company, InstantLabs, is a DNA analysis system for food testing. This easy-to-use instrument offers fast, accurate pathogen and species detection for the global food industry.

food testingThe Hunter system is designed for use at points-of-need to detect and analyze a wide variety of problematic foodborne pathogens. The system’s portability, combined with its flexibility and ease of use, allow for seamless integration into food industry firms’ current processes and facilities.

Typically, samples are sent out to a lab for safety and/or fraud testing and may take days to complete (e.g., agar plate cultures). The Hunter Real-Time PCR System offers food testing turnaround times measured in hours. It delivers easy to interpret diagnostic results in only a few steps while also reducing sample and reagent requirements. The option of automated result e-mails is also available. The speed of the Hunter system helps businesses save money and extend product shelf life. Businesses can ship products faster or correct problems sooner.

food testingThe real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) adapts the inner workings of biology to create a “molecular copy machine”—a fast, accurate, and sensitive method to determine the presence or absence of a target organism by multiplying and detecting the target’s specific DNA or RNA in real time.

The Hunter system features an intuitive, error-proof touchscreen interface with simple icons that guide the technician through the sample testing and diagnostic reporting process. Required on-site training allows technicians to attain proficiency within one day. Color-coded and numbered reagents along with bar-coded chemistry-ready cartridges and a streamlined protocol, allow even the most novice technician to feel confident that they are getting it right every time.

The Hunter Real-Time PCR System includes built-in optional networking and wireless features capable of both decentralized data capture and secure centralized monitoring. It has an integrated reader/controller, disposable assay cartridges, a thermocycler, and software.

The compact (6.77″ H x 16.22″ W x 8.66″ D), portable design and rugged construction makes the Hunter Real-Time PCR System a suitable instrument wherever needed. The unit is lightweight (11.9 pounds) and easily transported in a pelican case, allowing users to bring the lab to the sample. In addition, the cost of this food testing instrument is within most lab management capital budgets, making the Hunter an affordable option for small- and medium- sized businesses.

Each Hunter system is delivered in a LAB-IN-A-BOX that includes everything needed to start testing for food safety and fraud: the Hunter device, auxiliary equipment, start-up reagents, and on-site training. InstantLabs experts can also custom design a testing program that meets the specific needs and requirements of a business.

The Hunter Real-Time PCR System requires a 10-minute warm-up and has a one hour to two hour run time, depending on assay. It uses 100VAC to 240VAC (+/- 10%) at 3 amps and has an operating temperature of 50°F to 95°F (RH up to 90%, noncondensing). Electrical connections include an AC input (IEC 320 style), Ethernet, and three USB ports.

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