Food fraud is a worldwide cause of concern. The integrity of food production is being heavily scrutinized as a result of food contamination and the processing of non-conforming ingredients. This also leads to huge costs, totalling up to approximately $ 40 billion globally! Digi.Bio joined hands with SwissDeCode Sarl and the Vrije Universiteit (VU) in order to find a solution and safeguard food safety.
Food fraud | The vulnerability of milk
A product such as milk is one of the most common and vulnerable products of food fraud. It is often substituted for cheaper alternatives (for example soy or grains) or used as a cheaper alternative itself (such as the use of cow’s milk in buffalo mozzarella). This results in unintentional food contamination during the production process. This again leads to safety hazards regarding health concerns such as allergies. Testing, monitoring and accreditation is therefore of utmost importance during the entire production process, from production to consumption. Unfortunately, on-site analyses aren’t always possible or accurate, and in some cases are generally insufficient. However, Digi.Bio and her partners found a solution to this problem.
Automation of on-site testing
The partnership created and validated a new multiplex digital microfluid (DMF) – platform: BEAMitup. With this platform, on-site testing of milk has been automated. DNA-technologies, which are generally tied to specific sites such as laboratories, can now be transported to on-site locations for testing. Technical staff is not needed anymore to carry out this process. In other words, its innovative as well as cost-effective!
The product will consist of integrated hardware (for preparing and detecting samples) and software (for the use of algorithm in order to analyse and generate ISO-accreditation). It truly is an unprecedented innovation for the food industry.
Collaboration between Hezelburcht, Digi.Bio and partners
Digi.Bio and SwissDeCode are pleased to announce a brand new collaboration for accelerating the automated detection of milk fraud.
We will be bringing the precision of DNA-testing from the molecular biology laboratories to production sites in the milk industry. Working with Hezelburcht has been the key factor in this project, thanks to their involvement we have been able to refine further the project scope as well as create a powerful application that could vehicle the breath and depth of the impact our combined product will have on the market. - Federico Muffatto - CEO Digi.Bio
Hezelburcht supported the partnership with the entire grant acquisition process. The result: a successful allocation of the international grant Eurostars by EUREKA and the European Committee. Hezelbucht is proud of this collaboration and whishes Digi.Bio and her partners good luck with the continuation of their project!