U.S – TAAG Genetics, an international genetics and informatics laboratory, has announced that its TAAG F41 VIP kit, a multiplex real-time PCR assay capable of detecting four separate foodborne pathogens in a single reaction, has been accorded Performance Tested Methods status from the Association of Official Analytical Chemists (AOAC) Research Institute. AOAC promotes and conducts activities to help develop, improve, and validate proprietary testing methods.

TAAG’s Food Safety Laboratory works with a variety of clients in the food industry to guarantee the safety and quality of their products. As part of that effort, it has developed and validated the F41 VIP, a simple-to-perform method that provides accurate presumptive results in 24 hours from sample enrichment.

The kits simultaneously identify key pathogens of concern in the industry like Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella spp., S. aureus, and E. coli. They work together with the TAAG Xpert Assistant (TxA) software, which utilizes artificial intelligence to identify and help eradicate pathogen problem points in clients’ facilities.

“We are delighted to have received AOAC validation on the F41 VIP, which is a crucial step in bringing our international experience in food safety to the US market. Together with the COVID-19 testing performed by our clinical laboratory, these food safety solutions help fulfill our commitment to promoting health and safety for our clients, their customers, and the surrounding community,” said TAAG Genetics’ CEO, Denis Berndt

Their rapid method offers considerable cost and time savings compared to the ISO reference methods. The user manual is simple and easy to follow while the instrument software only requires a few simple steps to operate. Sample analysis is elementary enough that a technician of any training level can conduct the assay and obtain accurate results.

Protera Funding

Protera, a Chilean food-tech start-up that develops proteins using Artificial Intelligence (AI), has announced the final close of a $10 million Series A financing round.

The financing round was led by Sofinnova Partners, a life sciences venture capital firm specializing in healthcare and sustainability. Joining the round was baked goods producer Bimbo Group and ICL Group’s food-tech accelerator, ICL Planet.

“We are excited to continue our strong partnership with Sofinnova Partners, which is known for being a company builder in industrial biotechnology, with a strong focus on entrepreneurs and science. We feel fortunate to add two industrial partners, Bimbo Group, the world’s largest baked goods producer, and ICL Group, experts in ingredient manufacturing and distribution, as we position ourselves to go fully downstream and deploy products on the market,” said CEO and co-founder of Protera, Leonardo Álvarez.

Jose Manuel Ramirez, director of Bimbo Ventures, added that they wish to support the company, by testing and validating its technology as Protera’s technology aims to solve real challenges in the food sector, such as increasing the shelf life of bread, to diminish food waste and increase food security.

Protera uses a proprietary deep learning algorithm to screen amino acid combinations and predict their properties. The start-up claims that the platform can design proteins at a high speed and accuracy, aiming to create healthier and more sustainable ingredients.

According to Protera, the financing will fast-track the scale-up of Proteraguard, a protein that reportedly extends the shelf-life of foods and replaces widely used chemical ingredients with a natural alternative.

Protera is currently augmenting its manufacturing process and validating its protein-based ingredients with several multinational companies.