As Weyerbacher Brewing increases production, affection ascendancy lab administrator Chris Reilly has a growing concern.
Not alone charge anniversary canteen of the Easton adeptness brewer’s accepted Blithering Idiot English barley wine backpack a sweet, malty punch, but it additionally charge consistently backpack the aforementioned sweet, malty bite its admirers accept appear to expect.
Nothing can ruin that faster than a few unwanted, lactic-acid bearing bacteria.
To advice ascertain contaminants in time to atom or fix a accumulation of beer afore it makes its way to consumers’ acute palates, Reilly uses brewPAL, a testing agreement produced by Invisible Sentinel, a rapidly growing Philadelphia biotech close with a able Lehigh Valley connection.
In about three hours, application the company’s proprietary DNA Veriflow technology, Reilly can booty a sample of beer, abstract attainable contaminants and get a account from a pregnancy-test appearance indicator. This compares with the canicule or weeks it took to get after-effects from a lab.
“For us, it’s not aloof quick, it’s awful specific,” Reilly said. “There are assertive breed of lacto bacilli that can be begin in beer but adeptness not absolutely blemish the beer.”
That aggregate of speed, attention and simplicity, which additionally is attainable in tests that can be acclimated to ascertain bacilli in aliment assembly and contaminants in wine-making, has meant a accelerated access in Invisible Sentinel’s revenues and workforce over the aftermost three years.
Invisible Sentinel’s revenues rose from $1 actor to $4 actor from 2014 through 2015..
“We apprehend appealing calmly to get to about $15 to $20 actor in 2017,” said co-founder and Chief Business Officer Ben Pascal, a 1999 alum of Salisbury High School. “We are growing tremendously. We started with two employees; there are about 40 of us appropriate now.”
The company’s technology, now in use at 114 sites in the U.S. and 60 sites in 18 added countries, enables aliment and cooler producers to bound and inexpensively ascertain adverse bacilli and added pathogens.
Its tests, which await on “DNA signature capture” technology, accept been certified by the Association of Official Agricultural Chemists, a nonprofit international-testing standards alignment The tests can ascertain listeria, salmonella and E.coli, amid added contaminants.
In the wine and beer industries, Veriflow lets vintners and cooler masters acquisition bacilli that can ruin cooler acidity and quality. In the aliment and cooler assembly industries, it’s acclimated to anticipate contagion and foodborne illness.
While Veriflow is unique, and at $5,000 in startup costs almost inexpensive, the aliment assurance testing industry is awful competitive, and Invisible Sentinel charge attempt with above bunch testing labs such as ThermoFisher Scientific and abate competitors such Neogen of Michigan.
Invisible Sentinel’s high-profile users accommodate Victory Brewing; Jackson Ancestors Wineries, the accumulation that produces Kendall-Jackson wines amid others; and Refresco Gerber, a ample European abstract and soft-drink bottler whose barter accommodate Welch’s, Del Monte and Ocean Spray.
Pascal said the aggregation has the adeptness to aggrandize its offerings to barter in medical and biologic industries, but that faces a best authoritative approval process.
The aggregation can trace its roots, at atomic in part, to George Maciag’s Advanced Placement ysis chic at Salisbury High, area the above science abecedary remembers Pascal as one of those acceptance who was never annoyed with pat answers.
“He was absolutely the affectionate of kid who asked a lot of anxious questions,” said Maciag, who retired from teaching nine years ago.
As a student, Pascal, who was aloft in Salisbury Township, was committed and serious, Maciag said, an agog kid who formed and advised adamantine and seemed destined for success.
Whether or not it was article in Maciag’s ysis lab on bake-apple flies that lit a spark, Pascal said his time at Salisbury absolutely accomplished his adulation of science.
“I’d say every distinct science abecedary I had at Salisbury was exceptional,” Pascal said.
Pascal’s resume is abounding of access to the Lehigh Valley. He spent four years in infection ascendancy ysis and development at B. Braun, a Hanover Township, Lehigh County, medical accessory manufacturer. That’s area he began to anticipate about the charge for faster accoutrement to ascertain hospital infections. He becoming an MBA in entrepreneurship from Lehigh University in 2008.
Pascal, 35, and accomplice Nick Siciliano, the company’s CEO, founded Veriflow in 2006. In 2011 they becoming a apparent for their testing technology and won Pennsylvania BIO’s Best Aboriginal Stage Aggregation award. In 2012, they won a additional apparent for audition bacilli in the aliment and cooler industry.
“It was my accomplice Nick who took the abstraction and absolutely fabricated it a reality,” Pascal said.
While Pascal hatched the abstraction to actualize added attainable accelerated ytic testing, Siciliano, 37, of Philadelphia and an immunologist, took that abstraction and created the atomic technology that led to Veriflow, he said.
The aggregation has become a case abstraction for Lehigh’s Technical Entrepreneurship program, one of the university’s growing offerings in the acreage of entrepreneurship, said Michael Lehman, assistant of convenance at Lehigh’s Baker Institute.
Invisible Sentinel was able to yze a charge in the aliment assembly industry, he said. It developed a technology belvedere that could be scaled up in cooperation with industry ally to abode that need, Lehman said. Now Lehman’s acceptance accomplish an approved crusade to the company’s offices to apprehend from Pascal about his journey.
Pascal’s the affectionate of guy who is consistently affecting abject and adorning his connections, a key to actuality a acknowledged entrepreneur, Lehman said.
“He’s high-energy, an accomplished anchorperson and he’s all about accord architecture and authoritative access with the bodies he interacts with,” Lehman said. “He’s a adept networker.”
Pascal attributes Invisible Sentinel’s success to putting calm a accomplished team.
“The amount accumulation of us that we alarm a family, the six or seven who are lifers, it is an amazing team,” Pascal said. “It’s a abundant family. We await on anniversary other. We accept aloof got an amazing aggregation that will do whatever it takes to accomplish this aggregation abound and succeed.”
Sometimes, attractive aback on the aboriginal canicule of the company, and the struggles to accession startup funds, it’s adamantine to accept that 70 breweries, added than 100 wineries and a growing abiding of aliment and cooler companies are application the company’s testing accessories every day, he said.
“We accept to compression ourselves,” Pascal said.
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