Jerusalem based Yarok MicroBio combines biochemicals with machine vision and digital image analysis to detect dangerous microbes, such as E.coli, Listeria, Salmonella in food products in just 45 minutes instead of days. The company is now extending the capabilities of its novel detection method to Agriculture, to detect plant pathogens such as Botrytis, Xanthomonas and Alternaria.
By slashing the time of detection and enumeration of possible presence of pathogenic microbes from days to 45 minutes, with off-the-shelf tools and on location instead of an offsite microbiological laboratory, Yarok MicroBio offers a solution to a constant major threat to consumer health and to the financial interests of the food industry and of growers.
Today’s food safety of agricultural produce and food products is based on microbiological tests that are too slow, taking days, and therefore inadequate to answer the ever-growing market demand for fresh food and fresh produce. This gap between receiving test results and fresh food delivery forces producers to ship food before tests results can be received and, consequently, can endanger consumer health.
Just recently for example, in November 2020, there was an outbreak of E-coli in leafy greens the USA resulting with 20 people being hospitalized costing millions of dollars. Similar outbreaks took place in 2018 and 2019, with 5 deaths, hundreds of hospitalizations and a 40% drop of the leafy greens market. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 48 million people get sick each year in the US, 128,000 are hospitalized and another 3,000 die because of food-borne diseases — illnesses originating from food spoilage or contamination.
Consequences of the Problem in Agriculture and the Flowers Industries
Because they take days, current tests fail to prevent the spread in crops of Plant Pathogens, such as Botrytis, Xanthomonas, Alternaria and more. These infect very valuable products such as Strawberry, Wine Grapes, Cannabis, Roses and other High Value Flowers, causing severe financial losses to producers. Today, when the pathogen presence is evident, significant damage has already occurred. Efforts to prevent or fight pathogens require intense use of pesticides, which are dangerous for the environment and human health.
Yarok MicroBio‘s Solution
Yarok MicroBio’s vision is to provide simple, accurate microbiological testing at site so the presence of pathogens can be identified as early as possible. Based on “Detection of Intracellular Metabolism of the Specific Target Bacterium” -a radically new multidisciplinary approach in diagnostics- Yarok MicroBio has developed a new fast testing technology, giving accurate results in 45 minutes instead of days. The Yarok MicroBio system uses include fast testing of finished products, raw materials, seeds and seedlings, crops and/or the production environment.
Yarok MicroBio system uses proprietary reagents & bio-analytical software to be used with affordable off-the-shelf laboratory equipment. Performing the tests can be performed by unskilled workers. Qualitative and Quantitative results are given in CFU (live actively dangerous bacteria) as required by EU and USA Food Safety regulations.
Advantages Offered by the Yarok MicroBio
The Yarok MicroBio system offers the food industry accurate and CFU-based fast testing results before production (test of raw materials) and before product release, to avoid recalls, lawsuits, loss of business and -most important- to protect the consumer’s health. Moreover, for agriculture, the Yarok MicroBio system offers accurate extremely early detection of Plant Pathogens, for early adoption of phytosanitary measures, to avoid or reduce losses of spoiled high-value products and for reducing the use of pesticides.
About Yarok MicroBio
Yarok Microbio was founded in 2017 by CEO Jonathan Sierra, CSO Vladimir Glukhman, and Marketing Director Rachel Neiman. Besides its headquarters in Jerusalem, Yarok Microbio has a lab at the University of Milan, Italy, where it conducts trials, data collection, and demonstrations for potential clients, thanks to a strategic partnership with Italian firm Instabact srl.
Yarok MicroBio was selected in December for the 2020 Foodtech 500 List, a definitive list of the top 500 startup and scaleup Companies in the world shaping the future of food. The 2020 Foodtech 500 List is annually put out by Forward Fooding, the world’s first collaborative platform fostering food innovation through FoodTech data intelligence. In 2017 Yarok MicroBio received the Award for Agribusiness Innovation by UNIDO, the UN Industrial Development Organization. Yarok MicroBio was also selected as one of the 2019 Top Five Disruptors by IFT, the world-renowned US Institute of Food Technologists.
“TheYarok MicroBio has filed a patent for its technology and has raised around $350,000 from grants the revenues of pilots and licensing of prototypes, Jonathan Sierra, Yarok MicroBio‘s CEO said. It is now looking for investors for scale-up of the product, which is now on its trial stage.“
Source: Yarok Microbio
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