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E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Company (DD - Analyst Report) announced that its Nutrition & Health business has entered into a collaboration agreement with AvidBiotics to enhance food safety. The partnership, which includes a DuPont Ventures equity investment, will involve a research program on proteins that takes out unwanted bacteria in food. DuPont believes that these novel applications will improve food safety, quality and shelf life.

AvidBiotics will retain all the rights to applications of its technology in the fields of animal health, and human therapeutics, prophylactics and diagnostics. AvidBiotics’ antibacterial technology, based on R-type bacteriocins (proteins with bactericidal activity),recognize target bacteria by binding to specific receptors on the bacterial surface and disrupting the cell envelope to kill the organism promptly. In theory, R-type bacteriocins can be developed against any pathogenic bacteria or spoilage organism of interest.

DuPont Nutrition & Health addresses the world’s food challenges by offering a wide range of sustainable, bio-based ingredients and advanced microbial diagnostic solutions to provide safer, healthier and more nutritious food.

DuPont released its second quarter 2012 results in July 2012. The company reported adjusted earnings of $1.48 per share for the quarter, exceeding the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.46 and the year-ago earnings of $1.37 per share.

The earnings growth was primarily driven by strong performance of the company’s agriculture, food and bioscience businesses as well as its advanced materials business, despite weak European markets.

Including one-time items, earnings came in at $1.25 per share versus $1.29 in the prior-year quarter. The fall in earnings reflects lower sales volumes across the company’s business segments and weak demand for titanium dioxide, especially in Europe and Asia.

Net sales grew 7% year over year to $11,006 million, driven by higher price and portfolio changes, partially offset by unfavorable currency impact and lower sales volumes. However, sales missed the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $11,252 million.

DuPont, which competes with The Dow Chemical Company (DOW - Analyst Report) and BASF SE (BASFY), currently retains a short-term Zacks #3 Rank (Hold) and we have a long-term (more than 6 months) Neutral recommendation on its shares.
 

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