Israeli startup develops antimicrobial solution to protect food production environs

ISRAEL – Bio-Fence, an Israeli startup established under The Kitchen Foodtech Hub, has developed an antimicrobial coating technology designed to prevent infection by pathogenic bacteria in such as Listeria and Salmonella food production environments.

Bio-Fence’s observes that its technology effectiveness has been proven in laboratories under International Standard ISO 22196 and in food sites in Israel and worldwide.

With the outbreak of COVID-19, the startup also revealed that its antimicrobial coating technology has also proven to be effective in killing viruses, and therefore can create immediate and long-lasting bacteria and virus free environments.

Bio-Fence partnered with Professor Mahmoud Huleihel, a renowned virologist from Ben-Gurion University to test the effectiveness of its coatings against viruses as well a controlled environment.

The company disclosed that the test results show that its coating products completely destroy the herpes virus, which is significantly more durable than the coronavirus.

It has been established that surfaces in areas inhabited by carriers of Sars-CoV-2 can be infected by the virus for many days, and therefore, frequent disinfection is required to prevent the risk cross-infection.

Based on the recommendations of health and environmental organizations, chlorine-based materials are used as an effective disinfectant for surfaces from the Coronavirus.

Bio-Fence has capitalized on this strength in developing its anti-microbial coating technology.

The company says that the coatings utilize this effective chlorine killing mechanism, and is unique in providing long-lasting protection, and by that significantly reducing the required frequency of disinfection.

Bio-Fence explains that the technology is based on an innovative polymer, which can be combined within paints and coatings, providing them the ability to bind and stabilize chlorine.

This, in turn, protects the coated surfaces for extended periods of time. The coatings are transparent and can be sprayed or painted quickly without damaging coated surfaces immediately creating an active, stable protection layer against the virus in case of infection.

Bio-Fence is currently developing a kit for testing the levels of active chlorine on the surfaces, to notify users when it should be reapplied (a simple action carried out by spraying or smearing a chlorine solution provided by Bio-Fence).

Ofer Shoham, Bio-Fence CEO said: “For the past two years, Bio-Fence has developed technology that eradicates bacteria and viruses leaving a clean environment.

“We focused on disease-causing bacteria such as Salmonella and Listeria, reaching significant achievements and proven feasibility in field conditions.

“The world’s population is currently experiencing a significant change in lifestyle as a result of the Coronavirus. We identified the need for an immediate and viable mechanism to allow a safe return to the working environment and routine we are all accustomed to.

“We were delighted to have this opportunity to join the global battle against the spread of the coronavirus.”

The company says that the products can be used for coating walls, floors, partitions, and surfaces in factories, hotels, offices, institutions, as well as train stations, airports, and airplanes among other.

Bio-Fence was established in early 2018 through a collaboration between Strauss’s FoodTech incubator, and experts in the field based on a core technology developed at the Israeli Institute of Biological Research (IIBR).

The company’s initial goal was to meet the growing need to create a safe food production environment due to the frequent infections in pathogenic bacteria such as Salmonella, Listeria and E. coli.

Following the recent development’s Shoham believe’s that with Bio-Fence’s technology the start-up will be able to help society regain some normalcy by maintaining spaces safe from bacteria’s and viruses.

The company operates a development lab located in the Bio-Gav complex of Hadassah, Jerusalem, and enjoys the support of the Jerusalem Development Corporation.

The startup has also received development grants from the Israeli Innovation Authority as well as raised additional capital from strategic investors.

Bio-Fence reveals that it is currently in advanced stages of transition from development to scale-up in collaboration with leading Israeli companies and aims to launch its first coating products within months.

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