USA – Tyson Ventures, the investment arm of the American food company, Tyson Foods has invested in Clear Labs Inc., a US based food safety testing company as it seeks to drive innovations across its businesses.

Clear Labs has developed Clear Safety automated food safety platform for routine pathogen detection and next-generation sequencing (NGS) for high-volume testing for salmonella.

The system’s accuracy is said to reduce inventory holding time and delayed shipments, confirmation costs and delays, and retail short-supply penalties.   

The company was founded in 2014 and produces a database of the genomic sequence of plants and animals commonly used in food and is used during product development to test the shelf life of different formulations.

“At Clear Labs, we enable major brands to capitalise on a new era of food safety technologies by advancing DNA sequencing, bioinformatics and robotics to create preventative food safety management systems,” said the company in a statement.

“We’re thrilled to have Tyson Ventures as an investor as we continue to help the food industry leverage the best technology for not only securing the food supply chain, but also tackling the need to sustainably feed a growing world.”

Last year, the startup secured US$21 million in a funding round, enabling it to ramp up commercial operations and build new features for Clear Safety, its flagship product for food safety testing.

For Tyson Ventures, this is the first investment in the food safety space and according to Reese Schroeder, the managing director at Tyson Ventures, this would not likely be the last.

He had earlier identified six key areas of investment: alternative proteins; environmental impact; digital platforms; shelf life extension; animal well-being; consumer driven platforms and the area of artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation.

“Clear Labs offers an automated and intelligent next-generation sequencing platform built for food safety testing that’s fast and accurate,” said Reese Shcroeder.

“Food safety is an area of focus for Tyson Ventures and this was a good first investment in that field for us.”

Tyson Ventures was formed in 2016 and has so far invested in companies such as Beyond Meat, Memphis Meats, Tovala and Future Meat Technologies.