Rheonix Announces New Food Testing Leadership and Introduces the Fully Automated Encompass Optimum™ Workstation for Food and Beverage Testing

  • Rheonix expands its management team with the addition of two food safety executives.
  • Introduction of the easy-to-use workstation concurs with the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Annual Meeting in St. Louis.

ITHACA, N.Y. — Rheonix Inc., a developer of fully automated molecular testing solutions, announces its expansion in food and beverage testing with the introduction of the Encompass Optimum™ workstation for food and beverage testing and the hiring of two seasoned food safety executives to lead its growing applied markets business.

The Encompass Optimum workstation provides sample-to-answer, multiplexed testing for food and environmental samples, improving accuracy and ease of use for food and beverage testing laboratories. The Encompass Optimum workstation enables detection of up to 22 targets per sample with a single pipetting step and 15-minute hands-on time, enabling technicians to place 12 or 24 enriched samples on the workstation, press “go,” and walk away. The workstation’s highly efficient sample preparation enables greater sensitivity, higher accuracy and fewer failures than other molecular methods. Rheonix will introduce the Encompass Optimum workstation at the International Association for Food Protection Annual Meeting July 31–Aug. 2 in St. Louis.

Rheonix has brought on board two seasoned food safety executives to lead the expansion of the food and beverage business. Brooke Schwartz joins Rheonix as Vice President of Strategy and Marketing, where she will focus on the launch of the Encompass platform in applied markets and lead development of corporate strategy across the Rheonix businesses. Morgan Wallace, Ph.D., joins Rheonix as Scientific Director, Applied Markets, and will lead development of commercial validated assays for food and beverage testing.

“We are excited about the progress we have made in the applied markets side of our business, and we look forward to seeing the impact our unique technology can have on the food and beverage testing market,” said Greg Galvin, Ph.D., CEO and chairman of Rheonix. “We are pleased to welcome two industry veterans, Brooke Schwartz and Morgan Wallace, to the Rheonix team. Their commercial and scientific leadership will greatly enhance our efforts in this market.”

About Brooke Schwartz

Brooke Schwartz is a business leader with over 20 years of strategy and business development experience in life sciences, food and agriculture. Prior to joining Rheonix, she assisted clients in the commercialization and adoption of new technologies in food safety and previously led Life Technologies’ global Food and Environmental Testing business. She has held leadership roles in marketing and strategy at Applied Biosystems and Deloitte Consulting. Ms. Schwartz currently serves as Chair of the AOAC Research Institute.

About Morgan Wallace

Morgan Wallace, Ph.D., joins Rheonix as Scientific Director, Applied Markets. Dr. Wallace has over 20 years of food safety experience, most recently developing molecular diagnostic methods and leading a global validation group for food and beverage testing. He previously served as a microbiologist with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Research Service. He is an internationally recognized authority on validations of microbial methods for food, beverage and environmental testing. Dr. Wallace currently serves on the U.S. Technical Advisory Group to ISO for Foods Select Committee on Microbiology.

About the Encompass Optimum™ workstation for food and beverage testing

The Encompass Optimum workstation provides fully automated, sample-to-answer, multiplexed testing for food and environmental samples. The system’s advantages include simplified workflow, reduced labor, improved accuracy and multiplexing capabilities. The fully automated workstation does all sample preparation and detection on board, including removal of sample matrix and PCR inhibitors, and concentration, purification amplification and detection of DNA, resulting in reduced user error and increased sensitivity. The system can detect up to 22 targets per sample using reverse dot blot technology and can detect genus, species, strains and virulence factors in a single assay. Rheonix’ Salmonella species assay shows sensitivity of approximately 100 cfu/ml in enriched samples, which is superior to most molecular methods.

In August, Rheonix will introduce a multiplexed assay to detect a panel of organisms and hop resistance genes that cause spoilage in beer. Rheonix has completed evaluation of the Encompass Optimum workstation with a major U.S. brewery. The evaluation showed consistent ability to detect beer spoilage organisms on the fully automated platform in one day, a breakthrough improvement over the four to seven days required for conventional methods.

Rheonix’s expansion in food and beverage testing will build upon the success of its initiatives with the Encompass Optimum automated technologies in research and clinical laboratories. Recently, Rheonix successfully completed development and testing of a microfluidic system and assay to simultaneously detect host anti-HIV antibodies and viral RNA in a single specimen of saliva or blood.


About Rheonix:

Through experienced leadership and creative vision, Rheonix has developed the Encompass Optimum workstation, a highly customizable technology with unmatched versatility and affordability for use in research and applied testing laboratories. The workstation performs fully automated, complex molecular assays in an easy-to-use and economical format on the Rheonix CARD® cartridge. With both the Rheonix CARD cartridge and Encompass Optimum workstation family of products, Rheonix is well positioned to penetrate key molecular testing market sectors. For more information, visit www.rheonix.com.