Applied testing currently accounts for 7% of the company's net sales, yet it is one of the most dynamic market segments for QIAGEN, with a revenue growth of 28% at constant exchange rates in the past quarter alone. Currently, QIAGEN's sales in applied testing predominantly go to customers in forensics, veterinary medicine and biodefense. Food safety testing is a steadily growing segment with an overall market volume of more than US$ 2 billion. The market breaks down into four application groups: detection of pathogens, quality controls (such as testing for components subjected to illicit genetic modification), detection of allergens and identification of animal species. The increasing demand for food safety testing is being driven by evolving consumer awareness, more stringent legal requirements and the growing needs of food manufacturers who find themselves confronted with ever more complex sample base materials, as well as new pathogens that are increasingly difficult to detect.
Molecular tests, and in particular real-time PCR-based assays, are gaining more widespread use in such applications as they are significantly faster and more reliable than traditional methods and also allow for the detection of genetic targets. With their help, for instance, food producers can obtain certainty as to the safety of their planned deliveries within less than 24 hours.
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