ANP Tech in Newark creates one-step test to detect toxins

 

Ray Yin is president and CEO of ANP Tech in Newark. The company is launching and having some success with a product to easily test for pesticides on fruits and vegetables. / ROBERT CRAIG/THE NEWS JOURNAL

If you were empowered in the comfort of your kitchen to put your breakfast, lunch and dinner to a pesticide and toxic metal detection test and have results in 10 minutes for $10, would you buy in?

A one-step test created from technology originally developed for the U.S. Department of Defense by ANP Tech in Newark to detect biological agents/pathogens in water, is making its way into Delaware grocery stores.

Within the past two weeks, the NIDS ACE III-C, a rapid color test much like a pregnancy test, has found its way into Janssen’s Market in Greenville, Zingo’s Supermarket in Pike Creek and ShopRite on Concord Pike, with plans to be stocked in six Delaware ShopRite stores owned by the Kenny Family. It is also available at ANP Tech’s website, www.anptinc.com, and on Amazon.com.

“Due to DOD budget sequestration, ANP is quickly diversifying itself from the defense sector to the commercial sector,” explains Ray Yin, president and CEO for ANP, and inventor of the original technology. “Many people are more conscientious about nutritional values of the food they consume each day without knowing that the low level of pesticides they could be taking in from various food and drink sources can be toxic to them in the long run.”

ANP is the sole supplier for DOD biological toxin-testing in water. Today, the firm has put a laser-sharp focus on the global consumer market for its easy-to-use pesticide test kits. Its business is split into thirds defined by work for the government, the consumer market and in drug development.

“The latter turned out to be a much larger market than its originally intended use for the DOD,” Yin said. “Due to the ongoing public concern about pesticide contamination in food and water sources, particularly for fresh produce, dry fruits and tea and coffee, ANP is seeking to help consumers by providing them a safe and easy way for them to test their purchases prior to consumption.”

The small firm of 30 scientists was founded by Yin in 2002 with less than 10 employees in a 35,000-square-foot space, where they continue to work their biomedical magic. Half the company’s employees are University of Delaware graduates led with humility by 48-year-old Yin, a Ph.D, who “learned all this stuff” as a program manager in a U.S. Army Research.

Yli Remo Vallejo, Ph.D., senior vice president of research and development at ANP, is the primary inventor for the single test that detects a large number of pesticides and toxic metals.

“Although it is known that the presence of high levels of pesticides [above the human lethal level] in food and drinks can kill people, the risk for low-level chronic exposure of such pesticides to humans is still not well understood,” Yin said. “So far, a number of scientific studies have shown that chronic exposure of pesticides can lead to cancer, depression, Parkinson’s, cardiovascular and diabetes-related diseases.”

The opportunity would appear rich as ANP’s product, invented and manufactured in Delaware, has no competition, everyone everywhere eats, and there is a heightened awareness of food safety among consumers.

NIDS Ace rapid test is the only one-step pesticide test, particularly for the detection of organophosphate/carbamate-based pesticides and toxic/heavy metals that is available, Yin said.

Pesticides, moreover, the organophosphate- and carbamate-based compounds, are in the same class of chemicals as nerve agents used in chemical warfare, except they are less toxic than nerve agents, Yin said.

“This product has the most potential to address food safety concerns in the U.S. and around the world,” said Wendy Wen, business adviser for the Delaware Small Business and Technology Development Center, University of Delaware. “As a mom I want to test food. I want that feeling of empowerment.”

Contact Cori Anne Natoli at (302) 324-2855, on Twitter @CoriAnneNatoli, Facebook Cori Natoli-News Journal, or email cnatoli@delawareonline.com.