Publications

- January 1, 2019: Vol. 6, Number 1

The future of food: Eight food-tech startup companies that aim to set the table

by AgFunder News

Food tech is a small but growing segment of the startup and venture-capital universe, aiming to improve or disrupt the global food system. Worldwide, food and agriculture is a $7.8 trillion industry, responsible for feeding the planet and employing more than 40 percent of the population. It also represents more than 15 percent of global GDP. A range of demands are being put on the world’s food industry today that food tech companies want to solve, including:

  • Shifts in consumer preferences, such as increasing demand for meat in developing nations, while there is a drive to consume less meat in developed markets.
  • Roughly one-third of all food produced is wasted — about 1.3 billion tons of food waste — amounting to roughly $680 billion in developed countries and $310 billion in developing countries.
  • Consumer health: One in 10 people are starving, yet obesity is on the rise, affecting more than one-third of U.S. adults and 17 percent of children and adolescents.

Clearly, the food system needs to be revolutionized. Among the food-tech startups aiming to lead this change are:

  • Aerobotics, a South African agtech company with a smart scouting platform to identify pests and diseases in tree crops. The startup has developed a system that tracks every tree on the farm, detecting problems early and guiding farmers to the location of the threat.
  • Brightseed, a U.S.-based company that discovers plant-based nutritional bioactives from commodity crops and incorporates these highly beneficial ingredients into everyday food products, restoring nutrients that have been lost in the modern diet.
  • Chinova Bioworks, based in Canada, has developed a natural broad-spectrum preservative for food and beverages using chitosan from mushrooms. The product can also be customized to address particular pathogens specific to individual food and beverage companies.
  • Connecterra, based in The Netherlands, is an artificial intelligence–powered decision-support software service for dairy farmers that can detect health issues such as mastitis or lameness at least 24 hours before they are critical.
  • ImpactVision, a U.K.-based startup, applies machine learning to hyperspectral imagery in food processing and across the supply chain to measure freshness, quality and foreign-object detection in a rapid and noninvasive way.
  • Solinftec Participacoes is a Brazilian Internet of things–based farm management system helping clients monitor the status of their machines in the field and their progress based on their positioning and what activity they are undertaking.
  • Trace Genomics, a U.S.-based startup, has built the first scalable soil microbiome test to help farmers predict soil disease, soil health and crop quality using DNA sequencing and machine learning.
  • The Yield is an Australia-based AI-driven microclimate sensing, analytics and prescription platform for the aquaculture and horticulture industries.

 

This story was excerpted from AgFunder News. Read the complete report at this link: https://bit.ly/2DFayAf.

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