Dangerous bacteria in food could be detected within just a few minutes using a test developed by scientists form the Utah State University, according to a report published in the NewScientist journal.

It usually takes several days to prove the presence of bacteria such as e-coli, which causes cases of potentially life threatening food poisoning. University researchers have considerably cut this time however to about 15 minutes. They developed a process that tests liquidised material by filtering it through glass beads that are coated with manufactured antibodies designed to bind to specific types of bacteria. These bacteria are then made visible by light-emitting chemicals in the filter process.

The researchers revealed that a commercial version of the test should be available at some point next year.

To visit the NewScientist website, click here.