French microorganism developer Novolyze has raised a €2.2 million ($2.69m) second seed round for its foodborne illness mitigation technology.
Safety controls for foods like infant formula, spices, cereals, baked goods, and even pet foods are generally validated with spot checks, but pathogens present in affected foods inconsistently, which makes sample testing an insufficient method of discovering foodborne illness before food goes out to the public.
Furthermore, food manufacturers are not allowed to bring pathogens into their facilities to validate that their mitigation procedures are working.
The ready-to-use dried microorganisms are introduced into a food product, for example, a muffin batter, and then the product is tested after the control process is complete, in the case of a muffin — baking.
Companies manufacturing non-pathogenic microorganisms that mimic common pathogens like salmonella, listeria, and e. coli, called surrogates, did exist before Novolyze was founded in 2012, but the process of acquiring them was tedious and expensive according to Novolyze CEO Karim-Franck Khinouche.
It was tedious, expensive, and not very reliable.”