Welcome to a New Era of Food Safety

Written by Thomas Skernivitz | October 1, 2020

This article originally appeared on Growing Produce. Read it here. 

The miniDART technology from SafeTraces applies edible, invisible, DNA-based tags directly to fruit and other produce. Photo courtesy of SafeTraces

Food traceability companies will remember the summer of 2020 for more than the coronavirus and lockdowns.

On July 13, the FDA announced its new approach to food safety, the goal of which is to bend the curve of foodborne illness in the U.S. by reducing the number of illnesses. The organization had planned to announce the initiative in March but was forced to turn its attention to addressing the public health emergency posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The New Era of Smarter Food Safety leverages technology and other tools to create a safer and more digital, traceable food system. The blueprint seeks out simpler, more effective, and modern approaches and processes.

Tasked with educating growers on the FDA program and its significance are food traceability companies such as iFoodDecisionSciences (iFoodDS), rfxcel, and SafeTraces.

“Produce growers, packers, and shippers need to meet and exceed the performance of conventional packaging and requirements of the initiative,” Ulrike Hodges, the COO of SafeTraces, says. “As consumers and regulators demand higher food safety standards and visibility into supply chain practices, on-product traceability can provide them and their customers much needed assurance of the safety and authenticity of food products.”

The FDA is focusing on four core elements that it believes could significantly reduce foodborne illness in the country: tech-enabled traceability; smarter tools and approaches for prevention and outbreak response; new business models and retail modernization; and food safety culture.

“Industry- and regulator-led efforts and standardization will set the rules of the road for the key data elements (KDEs) and critical tracking events (CTEs) that must be captured,” John McPherson, Director of Global Solutions with rfxcel, says. “For the growers/harvesters, we think that data-capture innovations will allow field-level/harvest data to be leveraged for traceability, data analytics, and many other business uses. Growers who adopt digital strategies today will be not just ahead — they will be the ones that survive. “There will be a new era of food safety.”


Every shipper’s traceability data should be in the cloud, according to iFoodDS Vice President Minos Athanassiadis.

“The PTI (Produce Traceability Initiative) standard of ‘one up one back’ traceability is too slow to respond to future outbreaks because the fresh fruit supply chain is complex, and the traceability data is locked up in data silos within each organization across the supply chain,” Athanassiadis says.

Hodges concurs: “The lack of complete, rapid, and accurate traceability systems significantly impedes the speediness and effectiveness of traceback investigations during outbreaks and recalls. They also fail to effectively support global sustainability initiatives and prevent food fraud, undermining the public’s faith in global and even domestic food supply chains and creating financial harm to growers and manufacturers.”

Growers should realize that digital supply chains and the benefits they offer are within their reach, McPherson says. New innovations in product labeling, Internet of Things (IoT), mobile, radio frequency identification (RFID), and Bluetooth are being built to scale at the levels that growers work in. “Such innovations mean that the cost and implementation are easier to see as an investment, not as an expense,” McPherson says.

iFoodDS is working with packer/shippers to not just be PTI case-labeling compliant but also be PTI compliant in tracking their pallet shipments with Serial Shipping Container Code (SSCC) pallet tags and submitting advance ship notices (ASNs) to their customers for instantaneous trace forward.

“We are also encouraging the grocery retailers to make the most of our industry’s investments in PTI traceability by tracking cases at the DC (distribution center) and on to the store level,” Athanassiadis says.


Growers continue to make strides in digitizing their supply chains, McPherson says, but they need to continue evolving their operations to meet new demands of the marketplace. This includes complying with the PTI as well as potential new requirements from the FDA under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

“The FDA has been candid about wanting supply chains to be more digital and transparent, and growers will need to consider breaking down supply chain data from current silos and having a unified approach to that data,” McPherson says.

Adds Hodges: “Without incorporating end-to-end traceability back to the source in the produce industry, produce growers, packers, and shippers fail to meet consumers’ needs for food transparency, legal requirements, and potentially increase their risk in the event of an outbreak or recall.”


iFoodDS (Kenmore, WA) — The company on May 6 acquired Trimble’s food traceability and quality inspection business, HarvestMark. “We now provide growers and shippers with comprehensive real-time food safety records along with the state-of-the-art traceability,” Athanassiadis says. “This means that, for the first time, we’re linking real-time food safety information, not annual or quarterly audits, with every case of fruit going out the door, to be able to instantaneously access and respond to food safety and trace requests.”

rfxcel (Reno, NV) — The company boasts products that growers can use to digitize — from mobile and web to sensor/IoT tech — all run from the cloud, McPherson says. “We have deep experience creating a single-source of truth for every item in a supply chain, then sharing that data with trading partners to be compliant with current and future needs, such as blockchain integration,” he says. “Our experience working with federal regulatory bodies is another big advantage we bring to our customers.”

SafeTraces (Pleasanton, CA) — The company’s miniDART technology speaks to the problem of packaging that bears conventional barcodes and other digital identifiers being removed or damaged during normal supply chain transactions. The product uses unique edible, invisible DNA-based tags (FDA-GRAS) that are applied directly to the fruit during normal processing and can be read by a downstream purchaser with a rapid, inexpensive, onsite test to verify product source and authenticity in 25 minutes.


This article originally appeared on Growing Produce. Read it here.

Safety & Traceability in New Industries

Expanding Traceability to New Industries

Date: May 18, 2020

We hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

We wanted to provide an update on exciting developments at SafeTraces. At our core, our company is a mission-driven organization committed to solving the biggest, toughest safety challenges in the world. Until recently, we have been exclusively focused on food and agriculture-based applications of our technology. And for good reason. There is tremendous need for technology-enabled solutions for food safety and authenticity – consumers demand it, regulators mandate it, and food companies invest in it as a key source of value and competitive advantage.

Our miniDART and saniDART solutions represent major technological breakthroughs for food safety. miniDART is the first and only on-food traceability solution, leveraging edible, invisible DNA-based barcodes (FDA GRAS) that are applied directly to the food or ingredient and that a downstream purchaser can read with a rapid, inexpensive, on-site test to verify product source and authenticity. saniDART is the first rapid solution for verifying sanitation effectiveness at a microbial level to receive approval from AOAC-International, the gold standard for proprietary testing methods in food safety.

However, in recent months, opportunities beyond food and agriculture have increasingly demanded our attention for three important reasons. First, COVID-19 has created seismic global health and economic challenges that our technology is uniquely suited to help mitigate. Second, many companies outside of food and agriculture have sought our support, seeing our technology as a valuable solution to safety and security challenges confronting their operations. Third, our technology is highly versatile, enabling deployment in a wide variety of applications at scale. And that is why we have been compelled to support two other global industries facing enormous, urgent challenges:

Verifying Safe Airflow in the Built Environment

COVID-19 represents an unprecedented threat to public health and the global economy. As of mid-May 2020, Johns Hopkins counts nearly 300,000 deaths and four and a half million confirmed cases of COVID-19 globally in less than six months, sadly with these statistics forecasted to continue increasing until a vaccine is successfully developed.

Ranging from office buildings to nursing homes to food processing plants, the virus presents a major safety and health risk to the built environment given the complexity of airflows and the risk of airborne transmission. Currently, property managers lack adequate tools for assessing and mitigating this risk safely.

In response, we are excited to launch veriDART, our groundbreaking solution that leverages airborne tracers that safely mimic the mobility of pathogens like COVID-19 in order to verify safe airflows for building occupancy and re-occupancy. veriDART empowers property managers with a powerful tool to identify high-risk transmission vectors, ensure effective filtration, ventilation, and other protective measures, and target remediation actions. veriDART draws on SafeTraces’ deep expertise in surrogate particle development, built over years with support from leading institutions like the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Anti-Counterfeiting for Pharmaceuticals & Nutraceuticals

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the $200 billion global market for counterfeit drugs, touching nearly every therapeutic class, kill hundreds of thousands of people annually. Additionally, counterfeit nutraceuticals pose a serious threat to consumers as more than 50% of FDA Class I recalls between 2004 and 2012 were for dietary supplements. Product security stops at the unit of sale level, enabling significant risk of fraud, adulteration, and diversion during manufacturing and distribution.

To meet this growing need, we have introduced our on-dose traceability solution that leverages edible, invisible, FDA-GRAS, DNA barcodes that are mixed with coating or ingredients and applied to directly to pharmaceutical and nutraceutical pills during regular production. In turn, downstream supply chain partners can verify the authenticity, origin, and safety of a dose or its ingredients within 25 minutes more accurately and reliably than with traditional packaging-based serialization.

In closing, broadening our mission to ensure the highest safety standards of the food we eat, the medicine we take, and the air we breathe is an exciting and natural evolution of our company. Now more than ever, people demand transparency and assurances from food companies, drug manufacturers, and property managers regarding their safety practices. We are honored to tirelessly support our customers in making a better, safer world.





Erik Malmstrom

Erik has been a leader at the intersection of agriculture and technology in senior roles at Farmers Business Network, Cargill, and the White House. He is a co-founder of CrossBoundary, a leading frontier market investment advisor, and is a combat veteran and graduate of U.S. Army Ranger and Airborne Schools. He received his undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a joint M.B.A. – M.P.P. from Harvard Business and Kennedy Schools.


SafeTraces Awarded Thrive Top 50

SafeTraces Awarded THRIVE Top 50

Date: March 26, 2020

PLEASANTON, Calif. (March 26, 2020) – SafeTraces is honored to announce that it has been ranked in the “THRIVE Top 50” by SVG Ventures — an annual ranking of leading global AgTech and FoodTech companies exemplifying the best in agriculture and food-focused innovation — for the third consecutive year in recognition of its leadership in food safety and traceability solutions. 

Amid sky-high concerns about COVID-19 as well as on-going risks to food safety and authenticity, consumers are demanding greater visibility into food chains and corresponding safety measures from food companies. According to an extensive global Nielsen study, “the product benefit consumers were most willing to pay premium for were those with high quality assurances and verifiable safety standards,” with 49% of consumers globally saying that “they were highly willing to trade up in price for this benefit.”

Recognizing an unmet need in the food industry, SafeTraces developed the first and only on-food traceability solution called safeTracersTM – edible, invisible, FDA-GRAS, DNA-based barcodes that are applied directly to food and that a downstream purchaser can read with a rapid, inexpensive, on-site test. safeTracersTM are especially valuable in food chains with elevated risk of pathogenic contamination, counterfeiting, and environmentally destructive sourcing practices, where rapidly verifying product provenance and authenticity is vital and where traditional packaging and paper documentation-based methods of tracking and tracing have proven to be ineffective, slow, and vulnerable to tampering and error.

Additionally, SafeTraces has developed a groundbreaking, AOAC-certified rapid sanitation verification solution, saniDART™, to quantify the microbial load reduction of cleaning and sanitation on Zone 1 surface in food processing facilities through the use of FDA-GRAS, non-living bacterial surrogates. While traditional solutions often require sending samples to a third-party lab and waiting days for results long after product has left a food processing facility, saniDARTTM provides results on-site within 20-25 minutes, enabling food processors to make in-process corrective actions and ultimately mitigate the risk of contaminated product reaching consumers.

“It is an honor to be recognized with the THRIVE Top 50 Food Tech award for the third year in a row,” says SafeTraces CEO, Erik Malmstrom. “Now more than ever, consumers are demanding food safety and traceability from their food companies, rewarding leaders and punishing laggards. As the global food system evolves, we are here to empower industry actors with market-leading technology and data to ensure that they are delivering the safest, most authentic, and most sustainably sourced food to their consumers.”

Over the past year, SafeTraces has significantly expanded its market reach into food chains exposed to significant risks related to food safety, fraud, and sustainability — including produce, bulk commodities, and protein. SafeTraces has partnered with leading food companies and technology solution providers in order to advance the mission of food traceability and safety.

About SafeTraces

Founded in 2013, SafeTraces provides the only patented on-product food safety solutions that protect the food industry and consumers from food recalls, adulteration, and fraud. The company is committed to providing complete, low-cost solutions that deliver results in minutes. Its traceability solutions enable customers to gain full transparency, protect their brand, and reduce processing and recall costs. SafeTraces sanitation verification solutions provide insight into the effectiveness of the sanitation process – on-site and in minutes. The company is led by an expert team of entrepreneurs, scientists, and engineers dedicated to using nature’s own DNA to make food production safer, more transparent, and sustainable. Learn more about SafeTraces at www.safetraces.com



The Companies Trying To Track Everything We Eat

Featured in Fast Company

Date: September 8, 2019

For a startup founder, Charlie Sweat carries a particularly heavy burden. In 2006, he was CEO of Earthbound Farm, the California-based farm and factory that produces the majority of the country’s packaged organic salads, when an E. coli outbreak struck the company’s spinach. Three people died, and 200 more were sickened. The source, investigators later surmised, was likely at the source of the spinach: an Angus cattle ranch that had leased land to a spinach grower.

The experience left Sweat unnerved, but it gave him an idea, too. Preventing outbreaks was a matter of knowing where the tainted food came from. But for legacy food companies, supply chain transparency is a daunting task, complicated by a vast number of suppliers, plants, distributors, and products. Different producers use different tagging systems and different sensors to track different things. Piecing together the details of what comes from where and goes where from seed to table had never really been done successfully before. If it could be, the implications for both public health, corporate transparency, and anti-counterfeiting efforts would be huge: Between food and pharmaceuticals, the market for tracking technologies is expected to grow to an expected revenue of $14.1 billion by 2020, according to a report by Allied Market Research in 2014.

That year, Sweat stepped down from Earthbound, capping a 16-year stint at the company, but he took his idea with him. A few months later, with money from the owners of Earthbound, friends and family and investors, he founded Frequentz, a Palo Alto-based startup that touts a comprehensive “track-and-trace” system for food safety—like FedEx tracking, but for each piece of the food supply chain, from seed to table.

Sweat says that by uploading and integrating any kind of data collected from any kind of tag or sensor, the system can discover the source of a food-borne pathogen, be it a contaminated farm or a broken refrigeration unit. The data could not only help companies identify inefficiencies on their supply chain, but also meet a rising crop of food safety regulations, and help satisfy our growing hunger for more transparency about the foods we eat. Named for the frequency of updates required for a transparent food supply chain, Frequentz aims to slash the number of food-borne illness outbreaks—and make a killing among efficiency- and transparency-conscious food companies.

“Since it is possible now to know everything about your product, the stakes are much higher if you haven’t done everything you can to validate what you sell,” says Sweat.

The food safety problem alone is immense and costly. Last year, Food Safety magazine counted 622 food safety recalls globally due to contamination, with each recall estimated to mean losses on average of $10 million. Food-borne pathogens affect as many as 48 million Americans a year, and according to research by Robert Scharff, an associate professor at Ohio State University, the annual cost of medical treatment, lost productivity, and illness-related mortality is $55.5 billion.

There’s also the threat of illegal practices like unregulated fishing or adulteration, in which suppliers might add something to food to lower their costs. Said to be most prevalent in liquids such as olive oil and in powders such as spices, this form of fraud is estimated to cost the industry $10 billion to $15 billion a year. In one example last year, ground cumin had been covertly mixed with peanut protein, prompting about 20 recalls and leading the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to issue a consumer warning.

The Frequentz software, custom-designed for each client, depends in part on a growing transportation “internet of things,” including sensors on food crates, in trucks, and on packages. It’s built to accept mobile data from sensors measuring the condition of produce, such as freshness and temperature, as well as scanners picking up packing label data and geographic coordinates. Unlike its handful of competitors, including HarvestMark and FoodLogiQ, Sweat says Frequentz has been designed to combine any data collected from any sensor.

Data from even the smallest farms and fishing vessels can be uploaded on the fly. Eventually, says Sweat, consumers at supermarkets will be able to access that data on their smartphones, including whether a product is fair trade, was harvested or made by workers earning living wages, or contains GMOs or gluten.


This post originally appeared in Fast Company. Read it here.

UL and SafeTraces Transform Palm Oil Sustainability Practices

UL and SafeTraces Transform Palm Oil Sustainability

Date: August 1, 2019

PLEASANTON, Calif.Aug. 1, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — UL, a leading global safety science company, today officially announced a strategic partnership with leading traceability solutions provider, SafeTraces. This collaboration launches a ground-breaking traceability solution, combining SafeTraces state-of-the-art, DNA-based traceability solutions and UL’s scientific leadership and trusted supply chain verification capabilities. The solution offers businesses a transformative and efficient approach for palm oil traceability and purity assurance and helps to alleviate significant and increasing pressure to deliver on commitments to enhance sustainability practices.

While the 2017 Ceres’ Reporting Guidance for Responsible Palm notes serious issues around palm oil production such as tropical deforestation, increases in greenhouse gas emissions, and worker’s rights infringements, discontinuing the supply and use of palm oil altogether is not the answer. Palm oil production is an essential contributor to the economies of many countries, and the production of alternative, less efficient oils would result in more deforestation. Global efforts to prevent environmental and labor abuses commonly associated with palm oil production have failed to keep pace with consumer demands for sustainable sourcing. The appropriate and most effective response to the problem is a consolidated effort from all stakeholders to produce and source sustainable palm oil across the entire supply chain.

UL and SafeTraces are solving critical challenges and removing barriers to access markets by offering brands a uniquely robust and innovative solution to the problem. SafeTraces patented DNA-based traceability technology provides actors across the palm oil supply chain with the source information they need to make sustainable choices. UL’s objective, science-based assessments confirm the accuracy of that information. With the ability to accurately identify the source of palm oil, leading food companies, processors, and producers can significantly strengthen sustainable sourcing systems and simultaneously drive trust within the industry and with consumers.

“SafeTraces has developed a game-changing first-mile traceability solution that links the physical food product to its digital ID,” said Simin Zhou, Vice President and General Manager for UL Ventures. “Through our integration with the SafeTraces solution, we can jointly accelerate and validate the supply chain’s efforts toward fully traceable, more sustainable sourcing practices. As a 3rd party audits and inspections provider with a worldwide presence, we will work together with SafeTraces to tackle the palm oil sourcing problem on the ground, delivering unprecedented control of and insight into a critically important food supply chain at the global level.”

“Palm oil is ubiquitous in the world’s most popular consumer food and household products, yet its supply chain has a well-documented track record of troubling environmental and labor practices that sadly continues today,” said Anthony Zografos, Founder and CEO of SafeTraces. “The human, environmental, and financial toll of this problem is enormous. The first-mile, from plantation to mill, is where the risk of deforestation and labor exploitation is greatest and where traceability is weakest. SafeTraces is thrilled to partner with a global leader like UL to securely trace palm oil back to individual plantations in a way that is operationally and financially attractive for our customers.”

About UL
UL helps create a better world by applying science to solve safety, security and sustainability challenges. We empower trust by enabling the safe adoption of innovative new products and technologies. Everyone at UL shares a passion to make the world a safer place. All of our work, from independent research and standards development, to testing and certification, to providing analytical and digital solutions, helps improve global well-being. Businesses, industries, governments, regulatory authorities and the public put their trust in us so they can make smarter decisions. To learn more, visit UL.com.

About SafeTraces
SafeTraces provides the only patented on-food safety solutions that protect the food industry and consumers from food recalls, adulteration, and fraud. We are committed to providing complete, low-cost solutions that deliver results in minutes. Our traceability solutions enable customers to gain full transparency into the origin, protect their brand, and reduce processing and recall costs. Our sanitation verification solutions provide insight into the effectiveness of the sanitation process – on-site and in minutes.

SafeTraces was founded in 2013 and has grown into an expert team of entrepreneurs, scientists, and engineers dedicated to using nature’s DNA to make food production safer, more transparent and sustainable. Learn more about SafeTraces at www.safetraces.com.

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SOURCE SafeTraces, Inc.

This post originally appeared on PRN Newswire. Read it here.

SafeTraces Granted U.S. Patent

safeTracersGranted U.S. Patent

Date: May 8, 2019

PLEASANTON, Calif.May 8, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — SafeTraces, Inc. announced today that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted the company a U.S. Patent titled DNA Based Bar Code for Improved Food Traceability. The patent discloses a novel method for encoding and decoding digital information to and from DNA strands. The SafeTraces technology uses DNA strands drawn from seaweed and allows the food and agricultural industries to create and apply unique, edible, flavorless DNA barcodes directly to the food, not the packaging. These barcodes carry complete source data, stay on the food throughout the supply chain, and can be read in minutes to confirm provenance and purity of any food item.

The result is a highly scalable, cost-effective way of uniquely identifying the food – not just the box or pallet – that is far superior to conventional DNA tagging. To illustrate the advantages, consider that the same infrastructure that is needed to create just thirty-two DNA barcodes using conventional methods allows SafeTraces to create and deliver over four billion DNA barcodes, representing a cost advantage of many orders of magnitude. The SafeTraces DNA barcodes, marketed as safeTracers™, can be read anywhere, anytime by minimally trained personnel in minutes, while conventional DNA barcodes require specialized laboratories, clean rooms, and highly trained personnel – a process that normally takes days and thus offers no practical operational value.

The implications of this new model for the food and agricultural industries are profound: Inseparable from the food or product – unlike 2D barcodes – safeTracers represent the connecting link between the food and blockchain or other supply chain systems. Developed for low margin industries, such as fresh produce, tropical oils, and bulk foods and grains, safeTracers offer processors and consumers complete source assurance within minutes. This is particularly critical in times of food recalls, or when questions about authenticity, sustainability, or economically motivated adulteration need to be answered rapidly and accurately. safeTracers offer results in minutes – anytime, anywhere – enabling the industry to improve traceable sourcing with the ability to premium price, defend margins, and enhance brand loyalty. Consumers gain increasing certainty and trust in the quality and brand of the food they buy.

Obtaining this patent further demonstrates SafeTraces’ commitment to the development of next generation traceability and digital food safety technologies that enable our customers to vastly improve tracking when it comes to food. “This patent is a critical component of our IP portfolio that includes many innovations to create a more digital, transparent, and safer food system while also addressing consumer demands for quick access to information about where foods come from, how they’re produced and, whether the food is the subject of an ongoing recall,” said Dr. Anthony Zografos, CEO, SafeTraces, echoing a statement by the FDA Acting Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner.

safeTracers™ are affirmed G.R.A.S. (Generally Regarded as Safe) by the FDA. They are part of the complete solutions offered by SafeTraces that include the IoT miniDART™ and D-ART3000 DNA barcoding systems and DNA barcode readers. The solutions use low-cost equipment that easily and seamlessly retrofits into existing production facilities and usher in a new era of food source and safety assurance.

About SafeTraces

SafeTraces provides the only patented on-food safety solutions that protect the food industry and consumers from food recalls, adulteration, and fraud. We are committed to providing complete, low-cost solutions that deliver results in minutes. Our traceability solutions enable customers to gain full transparency into origin, protect their brand, and reduce processing and recall costs. Our sanitation verification solutions provide insight into the effectiveness of the sanitation process – on-site and in minutes.

SafeTraces was founded in 2013 and has grown into an expert team of entrepreneurs, scientists, and engineers dedicated to using nature’s own DNA to make food production safer, more transparent and sustainable.

Learn more about SafeTraces at www.safetraces.com

SOURCE SafeTraces, Inc.

This post originally appeared on PRN Newswire. Read it here.

SafeTraces Launches DNA-Based Solution for Grains

SafeTraces and JBT Launch Partnership

Date: July 2, 2019

PLEASANTON, Calif.May 21, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — SafeTraces, Inc. announced the launch of a first-mile traceability solution for conventional and organic grains, which will be available on a limited basis immediately and commercially available in late 2019. The DNA-based solution leverages the company’s patented, FDA affirmed GRAS materials, currently being implemented across the fresh produce industry.

On-product, item-level traceability has the potential to transform supply chains for dry bulk commodities. With the ability to granularly and accurately identify the source of grain, leading food companies, processors, and producers will be able to dramatically improve food safety, quality assurance, fraud detection, and sustainable sourcing systems.

“The grain industry relies on a 20th century supply chain model that has failed to evolve with 21st century demands for traceability and sustainability,” said Anthony Zografos, Founder and CEO of SafeTraces. “While consumers increasingly want to know where their food comes from and how it was produced, much of this data is lost the moment grain is transported off the farm. From verifying whether organic grain is truly from an organic source, or whether conventional grain has not been treated with glyphosate, to rapidly responding to food recalls, our ground-breaking first-mile traceability solution addresses these glaring market needs in a powerful, practical, and cost-effective way.”

The launch of SafeTraces’ first-mile traceability solution comes at a time when the global food industry attempts to respond to consumer calls for greater transparency by setting ambitious sustainability goals and modernizing supply chain practices through technology and process innovation. According to the 2016 Label Insight Food Revolution Study, 94% percent of consumers say it is important to them that the brands and manufacturers they buy from are transparent about what is in their food and how it is made.

Across its portfolio of solutions, SafeTraces applies edible, flavorless, odorless DNA-based barcodes directly to food, not the packaging, to deliver unprecedented traceability. safeTracers can be read anytime, anywhere in minutes. Expansion into the grain industry is one of several major launches into new customer segments planned in 2019, along with leafy greens and palm oil, among others.

About SafeTraces
SafeTraces provides the only patented on-food safety solutions that protect the food industry and consumers from food recalls, adulteration, and fraud. We are committed to providing complete, low-cost solutions that deliver results in minutes. Our traceability solutions enable customers to gain full transparency into origin, protect their brand, and reduce processing and recall costs. Our sanitation verification solutions provide insight into the effectiveness of the sanitation process – on-site and in minutes.

SafeTraces was founded in 2013 and has grown into an expert team of entrepreneurs, scientists, and engineers dedicated to using nature’s own DNA to make food production safer, more transparent and sustainable.

Learn more about SafeTraces at www.safetraces.com.

SOURCE SafeTraces, Inc.

This post originally appeared on PRN Newswire. Read it here.

JBT and SafeTraces’ alliance to revolutionize food safety

SafeTraces Launches Traceability for Grains

Date: May 21, 2019

PLEASANTON, Calif.July 2, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — JBT Corporation, the top-tier technology solutions provider to the global food and beverage industry, and SafeTraces, a leading food safety and traceability solutions provider, have announced a global alliance to integrate SafeTraces’ breakthrough, patented DNA-based technologies into JBT’s solutions portfolio for worldwide distribution.

The strategic alliance will focus on incorporating SafeTraces’ groundbreaking food safety and traceability technology into JBT FoodTech businesses, including fresh produce technologies, fresh-cut technologies, and coating equipment solutions, enabling rapid verification of sanitation processes and item-level tracking and tracing of food materials. Instead of waiting for days or weeks to verify food safety, sustainability or purity, the integrated solutions will provide the food industry with actionable results in minutes, fundamentally changing the way safe, sustainable food is produced and delivered.

According to The United States Public Interest Research Group (U.S. PIRG), food-related recalls have risen at 10% in the United States from 2013 to 2018. The Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) also estimates that each recall results in over $10 billion in direct costs not including indirect costs related to long-term damage to the brand reputations of food industry actors. Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has repeatedly called on the food industry to embrace new technologies and innovations focused on improving its ability to secure the food supply chain and engage in more effective tracking and tracing of food from farm to fork.

JBT is committed to continued innovation by applying differentiated and proprietary technologies to meet its customers’ food processing needs. It continually strives to improve its existing solutions and develop new solutions by working closely with its customers to meet their evolving needs.

“Food safety and traceability is a mega-trend that will transform the marketplace over the next generation,” said Carlos Fernandez, JBT’s Executive Vice President and President, Liquid Foods. “Consumers are increasingly rewarding food companies that provide greater transparency on how their food was produced and leaving behind those that don’t. SafeTraces has developed a game-changing technology that has wide-ranging applications across our business. We’re thrilled to partner with them and offer this breakthrough to our customers.”

“On-product, item-level traceability is the holy grail of source assurance, and rapid on-site verification of sanitation process is the holy grain of safety assurance,” said SafeTraces Founder & CEO Anthony Zografos. “We’re the first company to develop a technology that is commercially viable, scalable, and delivers clear benefits and a clear return on investment to customers. Partnering with a renowned market leader like JBT presents a tremendous opportunity to commercialize and distribute our technology at a global scale.”

About JBT

JBT Corporation is a leading global technology solutions provider to high-value segments of the food & beverage industry with focus on proteins, liquid foods and automated system solutions. JBT designs, produces and services sophisticated products and systems for multi-national and regional customers through its FoodTech segment. JBT also sells critical equipment and services to domestic and international air transportation customers through its AeroTech segment. JBT Corporation employs approximately 6,500 people worldwide and operates sales, service, manufacturing and sourcing operations in more than 25 countries.

About SafeTraces

SafeTraces provides the only patented on-food safety solutions that protect the food industry and consumers from food recalls, adulteration, and fraud. The company is committed to providing complete, low-cost solutions that deliver results in minutes. Its traceability solutions enable customers to gain full transparency into origin, protect their brand, and reduce processing and recall costs. SafeTraces sanitation verification solutions provide insight into the effectiveness of the sanitation process – on-site and in minutes. The company was founded in 2013 and has grown into an expert team of entrepreneurs, scientists, and engineers dedicated to using nature’s own DNA to make food production safer, more transparent and sustainable. Learn more about SafeTraces at www.safetraces.com.

SOURCE SafeTraces

This post originally appeared on PRN Newswire. Read it here.

Six Technologies That Could Shake the Food World

Featured in the Wall Street Journal

Written by Annie Gasparro Jesse Newman | Oct. 2, 2018


A machine that prints chicken nuggets. Fake shrimp made out of algae. Edible coverings that keep fruit fresh.

These inventions—and many more—are part of a technological revolution that is poised to shake up the way we eat.

treatment of animals. There is also a growing awareness of the harmful effect that food production can have on the environment.

Now big food companies and entrepreneurs are taking advantage of advances in robotics and data science to meet those challenges—and the trend will likely continue as technology improves, and natural ingredients become easier to cultivate.

It also helps that venture capitalists are flocking to the companies cooking up these innovations. This year is on pace to set a record for this decade for venture investment in food technology, according to the PitchBook Platform data provider. As of mid-September 2018, VC funds had invested more than $2 billion into the industry, compared with about $1.5 billion annually in 2016 and 2017.

Investors say the food industry is playing catch-up now after historically lagging behind in technological advancements. U.S. food and agriculture sectors have historically been among the least digitized in the nation, says Sanjeev Krishnan, chief investing officer and managing director at S2G Ventures, a venture-capital firm that invests in food and agriculture companies.

“But that is changing on a monthly, even weekly, basis,” he says.

Here’s a look at some of the breakthrough technologies that may have a big impact on what we eat, and how our food is made.


Printing your food to order

A new technology promises to let people choose their own ingredients and create food the way they want it—by using a 3-D printer.

The machine, called the Foodini, replaces the usual plastic ink to create food through essentially the same process that people now use to make toys and pencil holders. Restaurants and bakeries are using the Foodini to make intricate desserts and garnishes, and a home version will be available in a couple of years.

Among other uses, says Lynette Kucsma, co-founder of Foodini maker Natural Machines, the home machine will allow parents to place ground chicken into one of its stainless-steel ingredient containers and breadcrumbs in the other. Then parents can let their children pick a shape like dinosaurs or stars, and the Foodini will print—and cook—chicken nuggets in that form. Natural Machines also plans to have inputs for fat and calorie content that will adjust the size of the nuggets or cookies that come out.

The current commercial version costs $4,000, but Natural Machines expects that to come down over time.

the oven. The inventors initially developed the device with a grant from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.


Protein from algae

There is a shallow blue-green pool of water in the New Mexican desert, and it isn’t a mirage: It is a site for growing algae, plants rich in protein and Omega 3.

It is also a potential solution for a global food dilemma. The world is running out of land for raising animals for food, experts say. Algae grow well in brackish water and in the desert because of the abundant sunshine and the fact that they don’t need fresh water— potentially bringing more unused land into productive use.

Now advances in algae farming are making it a popular ingredient in new foods like algae-based protein bars and vegan shrimp, as well as other products such as fish feed and food coloring


Read as a PDF.

This article originally appeared on the Wall Street Journal. Read it here.

DNA Barcodes Adapted to Bulk Products

DNA Barcodes Adapted to Bulk Products

Date: January 9, 2018

PLEASANTON, Calif.Jan. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — SafeTraces, Inc. announced today the delivery of the world’s first DNA-based traceability systems for fertilizer to twenty manufacturers in an unnamed NATO member country. Illegal diversion, tax evasion, misuse, and adulteration plague many global commodities. SafeTraces’ patented D-ART 3000 systems set a new standard in undetectable, unbreakable, cost-effective tagging of high volume goods. The first twenty systems are part of a multi-system order with additional deliveries planned in the coming months.

The company’s D-ART 3000 systems are seamlessly integrated into fertilizer bag-filling lines and mix a unique ‘DNA Barcode’ into each bag, totaling millions of unique DNA Barcodes each year. Coupled with a blockchain-based or centralized code registry system, SafeTraces™ DNA Barcodes create unbreakable links between physical objects and their digital certificates, enabling transaction recording and rapid verification at any point in the supply chain. When used with most commodities, SafeTraces™ DNA Barcodes will be stable for over two years. The D-ART 3000 system is part of SafeTraces’ complete solution that includes DNA Barcode customization and dispensing, DNA Barcode tracking systems, test instruments, and test kits.

“The D-ART 3000 is the first system that brings DNA tagging from the laboratory to industrial settings,” said Anthony Zografos, CEO of SafeTraces. “We developed an easy-to-use, yet robust and low-cost solution that includes FDA approved, food-grade DNA Barcodes. We are putting the power of modern molecular technologies in the hands of industrial customers and end users. The response from customers in a wide range of industries has been universally enthusiastic.”

SafeTraces is actively marketing the D-ART 3000 system to fertilizer manufacturers and government organizations in AfricaAsia, and Europe. In addition, the company is demonstrating the solution for traceability and source assurance in sustainable commodities, such as palm oil, oil seeds, and beans. “Mislabeling of sustainable products is a worldwide problem,” said Zografos, “as ingredients pass through multiple intermediaries between growers and processors. Products are mixed or replaced along the supply chain with non-certified substitutes, putting a brand’s sustainability claims into question. The only solution is greater supply chain transparency, and SafeTraces provides unparalleled source assurance, even in the most complex supply chains.”

About SafeTraces

SafeTraces provides the only food-safe source assurance solution for bulk products that protect producers, processors, and consumers. We are committed to providing complete low-cost solutions that deliver results in minutes. Our solutions enable customers to gain full transparency into origin, protect their brand, and reduce processing and recall costs.

SafeTraces was founded in 2015 and has grown into an expert team of entrepreneurs, scientists, and engineers dedicated to improving the food safety industry. SafeTraces’ technology is patent-protected with four issued US patents, two pending US applications, and two international PCT applications.

Learn more about SafeTraces at www.safetraces.com

SOURCE SafeTraces, Inc.

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This post originally appeared on PRN Newswire. Read it here.