Oculer’s Joey English shows Minister of Environment Alan Kelly some of the process, via Arthur Ellis

Major dairy breakthrough creates 20 jobs in Tipperary

15 Dec 2015

Ballina-based Oculer has revealed a new groundbreaking system that may be the biggest microbiological breakthrough in the dairy industry in 100 years.

Oculer’s new system, which detects thermoduric bacteria in dairy products will, according to the company, save the dairy industry in Ireland up to €200m a year.

This is through better shelf-life, enhanced protein concentration and a reduction in farmer penalties, the three areas where thermoduric bacteria – which is bacteria that survives through the pasteurisation process – usually hits.

Keep milking it

The Tipperary company’s new tech can cut detection times for thermoduric bacteria from the current global standard of 72 hours to 24 hours, with an alarm to signal potential risk of the presence of the bacteria triggered in as little as six hours.

As well as testing for the presence of this bacteria, Oculer’s technology can also trace where it came from, tipping the farmer off as to any issues he or she can manage.

“Not only will test results be available to milk suppliers in 24 hours, Oculer will enable co-ops and dairy processors to react faster to positive results than they currently can by using the traditional agar method – while it also informs milk farmers where the source of the problem originated,” said Brian Byrne, CEO of Oculer.

Jobs in Tipperary

20 jobs – sales, R&D and engineering – are coming on stream with the development, as the company seeks to expand operations over the next two years, with the testing market valued at €150m a year.

News has already spread, too, with New Zealand’s main dairy laboratory to receive and test a system in the New Year.  Oculer is hopeful of further global interest.

“Oculer’s achievement in this international breakthrough for microbiology diagnostics is a huge validation of Ireland’s place as a global leader in dairying,” said Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly.

“With sales of dairy products forecasted to reach $494bn in 2015, this breakthrough has the potential to reach into every single market in the world.”

Looking for tech jobs in Ireland? Check out our Featured Employers section for information on companies hiring right now.

Gordon Hunt
By Gordon Hunt

Gordon Hunt joined Silicon Republic in October 2014 as a journalist. He spends most of his time avoiding conversations about music, appreciating even the least creative pun and rueing the day he panicked when meeting Paul McGrath. His favourite thing on the internet is the ‘Random Article’ link on Wikipedia.

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