SnapDNA, creator of a rapid pathogen detection system for food processing facilities, clinched top honors and a $25,000 prize as the winner of the IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge™ Pitch Competition, held during the FIRST virtual event.
A panel of five judges chose SnapDNA from a group of three finalists. The SnapDNA system is “push-button simple,” Tom Jacobs, vice president of sales and marketing, told the judges and the audience. “Our system can be operated almost anywhere by almost anyone. We compete with and replace food testing labs for both routine daily testing and for tracing contamination.
“We are deeply honored to be recognized by the IFT community for the work that we have done and for the recognition that our tech is truly disruptive,” said Jacobs after learning of SnapDNA’s win.
What makes SnapDNA’s on-site testing system unique, Jacobs explained, is the fact that “we target and capture only live cells in real time from large, dirty food industry samples. Pathogen RNA is analyzed in a fully automated process—20 minutes, sample to answer.”
Seaweed technology company Trophic won the $5,000 People’s Choice Award, with voting conducted in a follow-up survey of those who viewed the Food Disruption Challenge.
Trophic is working to scale up seaweed production and to help commercialize seaweed as a protein ingredient that is cost-competitive with other alternative proteins.
Rounding out the group of finalists in the Food Disruption Challenge was Ripe Revival, which uses patented technology to convert fruit and vegetable waste into healthful ingredients and food products, including nutrient-dense gummies and shelf-stable aseptically packaged beverages.
Food Disruption Challenge judges included Jagruti Bhikha of RiseTogether VC, Joe Light of Food Loving Ventures, Jeff Grogg of JPG Resources, Tracy Landau of MarketPlace, and Natasha Dhayagude of Chinova Bioworks.
Launched in 2018, the IFTNEXT Food Disruption Challenge is designed to help emerging and investment-ready food companies raise their profiles and make strategic connections. The competition is open to food science/technology companies that provide innovative solutions throughout the food supply chain, including ingredients, processing, packaging, testing, and more.