We have developed a proprietary analytical platform that combines tiny molecular machines (biosensors) with a compact reading device to provide minimally trained users with laboratory quality results in minutes. Our biosensors are proteins engineered to have a customisable detector and a constant signalling module. The signalling uses bioluminescence resonance energy transfer (BRET). The signal is read on a proprietary microfluidic device for speed, ease of use and economy.
We developed this technology because, in many parts of the food supply chain, the standard turnaround time for obtaining laboratory test results is too slow. When it doesn’t have timely information, the food industry wastes expensive ingredients, delays product release and exposes itself and its customers to risk. In the food industry our target users are technical staff throughout the supply chain.
Our customers include food processing companies, ingredients manufacturers and suppliers, supermarket chains and food trading houses, farming corporations, life science companies, researchers, and analytical and testing laboratories and suppliers.
Our technology is based on engineered proteins, biosensors that emit light. We have a library of different biosensors tailored to measure different trace components. We are expanding the library and developing efficient ways to develop new sensors for new applications. We also have a opto-electrical device that is simple, fast and easy to use. Our biosensors are mixed with food and beverage samples and loaded onto the device, which provides accurate laboratory quality results in a few minutes. The technology is highly customisable and expandable. In summary, we integrate biosensing proteins, microfluidics, microphotomultipliers, electronics, Peltier temperature control, software - into an easy to use system.
Our technology can be applied throughout the agrifood supply chain from the farm all the way to the retailer. It can also be used to control and validate pharmaceutical manufacturing, validate authenticity, in point-of-care veterinary and clinical diagnosis, as a companion diagnostic and in environmental water and waste management.
Our business model is to sell benchtop diagnostic devices together with ongoing sales of proprietary consumables. The product mix has been described as being like Nespresso machines and pods, or inkject printers and cartridges. Going beyond this, we develop and customise new consumables, constantly expanding our range of solutions for customer pain points.
The technology will reduce risk, improve efficiencies and speed up decision-making in food processing industries.
The technology has a wide range of applications in quantifying trace levels (micromolar to sub-nanomolar, parts per million to sub-parts per billion) of specific chemicals, large or small. It works in any aqueous medium, and is also applicable to emulsions and aqueous extracts of solids.
In food and beverage processing, the technology is able to measure proteases, lipases, nutrients, allergens, natural and synthetic toxins and other quality parameters. Because of its speed and ease-of-use, the technology is applicable to screening raw materials and refined ingredients, for real-time process optimisation in factory, on line process control and final product release. For example processors can use our technology to validate lactose free status, allergen free status, validate shelf-life specifications and ensure compliance with limits on heavy metals, mycotoxins and other potential contaminants.
Early in the agrifood chain, the technology has the potential to measure hormones, disease biomarkers, nutritional biomarkers, and xenobiotics like pesticides or antibiotics.
In food safety and quality testing, a global market leader told us that there are three key trends: On-site, portable and user friendly. Frost and Sullivan have reported a growing trend to use of biosensors for food quality and safety testing. We fit into all these trends.
Overall the opportunities for our technology in the food diagnostic space amount to US$5B per annum out of a total predicted market of US$24B by 2025. That opportunity is composed of multiple niche and larger markets such as lactose, spoilage enzymes, heavy metals, food allergens, mycotoxins, antibiotic residues etc. Each of these individual sub-markets is worth $10Ms to several $100Ms per annum.
Our technology has the potential to be as sensitive and specific as the current gold standard tests but available on-site not off-site, enabling real time decisions and requiring much less skilled staff and equipment. It will drive cost and time efficiencies wherever it is applied.
The benefits of “laboratory quality results in minutes” are substantial cost savings, improved food quality and safety, with fewer recalls and adverse events. Our technology will benefit customers who are currently waiting for up to a week for results to be received from an external analytical laboratory. Our tech offers substantial cost-savings through rapid screening of incoming raw materials and ingredients, optimised use of expensive ingredients, shorter processing times, less need to re-work product and earlier release of finished product. It will reduce the number of expensive product recalls and reduce exposure to product legal risk and encourage lower insurance premiums.
Beyond food and other manufacturing sectors, in some specific niches, this technology can enable clinicians to perform more rapid and accurate patient diagnoses, with improved patient outcomes and cost savings.