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Yarok test finalist at Food+City Challenge

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By Joe Whitworth+

08-Dec-2016
Last updated on 08-Dec-2016 at 12:46 GMT2016-12-08T12:46:25Z

Picture: Yarok
Picture: Yarok

Yarok Technology Transfer has been named as a finalist in the Food+City Challenge Prize contest, in Texas in February 2017.

The firm has developed a microbiological testing system for the fresh food industry to protect consumers from bacteria such as from E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella.

Jonathan Sierra, Yarok CEO, said Israel is recognized as a world leading innovator in food growing.

“Now, as the industry expands its focus to also ensuring ‘farm to fork’ food safety, we aim to help make Israel a world leader in that area, too. What’s important is that results come in before the products go out.

“Current microbial tests for the fresh food industry are too slow; traditional testing systems (HPC) take days and so-called ‘Rapid’ tests can take 18 to 32 hours. By that time, fresh food has left the production facility for supermarkets or, worse yet, has already been eaten.

“So, if there’s a problem, it’s too late for food producers to avoid expensive recalls, complicated lawsuits and damaged reputations – not to mention safeguard consumer health. This problem is critical to the industry. We hope to be part of the solution.”

We spoke to the company about how the technology works and early customers this year.

The Yarok system identifies E. coli, Listeria Monocytogenes, Psychrotrophic bacteria and Pseudomonas. Initial results are available within 45 minutes with final accurate results within a production shift timeframe.

Using conventional laboratory equipment, the Yarok system is for small, basic laboratories such as those in production facilities as well as professional labs serving industry.

Yarok’s test currently targets the vegetable and dairy industries. Modules addressing other categories (seafood, eggs, meat) and other bacteria are scheduled for development. Swabs for fast identification of Listeria in the environment are also in development.

The Food+City Challenge Prize is an annual international competition for business start-ups to encourage innovation in the urban food system.

Food+City selected 18 finalists to present at the event in Austin, Texas, on February 6, 2017.

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