The microbiological Copan Milk Test was launched in 1998 after four years of research and development. The ready to use product, which does not require any activation or the addition of nutrient tablets before adding the milk sample, has been validated international scientific institutes. Alexander Wessels, business group director of DSM Food Specialties said "The Copan Milk Test is a complementary product line alongside our current line of Delvotest. It..assists us further in supplying the right tools to our customers to safeguard the safety of their milk products." He also stressed the importance of the market for antibiotic residue testing in milk for the company. The value of the acquisition has not been revealed. DSM Food Specialties has been involved with antibiotic residue testing in the UK for many years. Since 1974 the company has been developing Delvotest, a globally recognised testing solution. In 2007 DSM introduced Delvotest Accelerator. The company says that this "unique, fully automated testing system offers milk control stations and dairies the fastest broad spectrum test on the market today." It claims that, by reducing the number of stages in the milk testing process (compared to using traditional water baths), the Delvotest Accelerator increases testing output and profitability, and guarantees complete traceability. As for the Copan Milk Test, it is used in important milk control stations and dairies worldwide. Its former owner decided to sell it, however, to focus on new projects in development, including an automated specimen processing system for the investigation of infectious diseases. DSM's focus on this area is particularly timing in the light of EU-wide measures to prevent antibiotic residues entering the food chain via raw milk and other dairy products. In the UK market, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) is producing a guide on antibiotics in milk in the first half of this year, after conducting a consultation process on proposals prepared to company with the EU measures. A spokesperson at the agency confirmed to FoodProductionDaily.com that the Agency is starting to assess the responses to the consultation and it is hoped that the industry guide can be produced during the first half of this year. The industry guide will seek to advise on how best to comply with the regulatory requirements on the presence of antibiotics, while also ascertaining the impact on processors of a possible further restriction on the milk supply. The proposals, drawn up in collaboration with an independent group of experts on antibiotics in milk, are meant to ensure that food and beverage manufacturers do not allow raw milk containing antibiotic residues to reach the market. Producers might have to conduct more testing throughout their supply chains. To determine the effects of the legislation on dairy production the FSA plans to set the reporting frequency that would be required for positive antibiotic test results on milk samples. The FSA is seeking advice on whether it is the responsibility of a producer, or processors, to notify antibiotic test failures to the regulators.