USA – Cambridge Crops, a US based agricultural tech firm has raised US$4 million in seed funding for its pioneering silk-powered technology, designed to combat food waste throughout the supply chain.
The funding round was led by MIT’s venture capital firm The Engine, and includes participation from Refactor Capital, Closed Loop Ventures, Bluestein & Associates, SOSV and Supply Chain Ventures.
Established in 2016, Cambridge Crops is developing a food preservation technology by creating a process to extend the shelf life of food through reducing the exchange of gases that cause decay.
The technology uses silk proteins to create a protective layer over food products that blocks the exchange of gases promoting oxidation, as well as reducing dehydration, and slowing the growth of microbes.
Crops says this protective layer is edible, tasteless, and does not alter properties of the food. In addition, the silk-based layer can be readily applied in the food product supply chain to whole and cut produce, as well as meat and fish.
The company’s patented technology can be integrated at any time from farm to shelf, allowing food producers, food processors, and retailers to extend shelf lives, reach new markets, and reduce waste.
The solution can be easily implemented at a wash or coating station in the supply chain, and has proven efficacy across food products ranging from whole produce and cut produce to meat and fish.
“Our team is focused on improving how we interact with our food supply,” said Adam Behrens, CEO and founder of Cambridge Crops.
“The technology we’ve developed has far-reaching impact, from minimizing our reliance on single-use plastics to expanding global access to safe and nutritious foods.”
Cambridge Crops will use the funding to complete FDA and USDA regulatory milestones, invest in production scale-up, and continue developing meaningful commercial partnerships in the food and agriculture industry.
The solution will support the continuing quest to reduce global food waste, which according to the UN’S Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) a third of all food produced worldwide is either lost or wasted, despite a continuing and growing problem of hunger.