Neogen Corp. has received a $250,000 National ScienceFoundation grant to develop an immunoassay that may enableproducers and packers to choose more precisely when toharvest pome fruits such as apples and tomatoes to preservetaste and freshness.

The Lansing, Mich., company (NASDAQ:NEOG) is developing akit to detect pAp5, a protein that governs the natural ripeningprocess. If a fruit contains the protein, it can be stored andripened later. If the protein isn't present, the fruit will beflavorless.

Neogen expects to have tests available in two years.

The shares closed up 13 cents on Friday at $3.38.

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