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SBIR Phase 1: Novel biopreservatives to improve the shelf life of dairy products

Award Information
Agency: Environmental Protection Agency
Branch: N/A
Contract: 68HERC22C0018
Agency Tracking Number: B214A-0006
Amount: $99,309.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 4A
Solicitation Number: 68HERC21R0144
Solicitation Year: 2022
Award Year: 2022
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2021-12-01
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2022-05-31
Small Business Information
19 Morris Ave, Building 128
Brooklyn, NY 11205-1095
United States
DUNS: 117076040
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 Ravi Sheth
 Chief Science Officer
 (513) 470-5728
Business Contact
 Hannell Fares
Title: Director of Strategy and Operations
Phone: (925) 216-0447
Research Institution

Specific Need for the Technology: This research enables development of a new microbial culture that will produce the world’s first natural microbial bioprotectant product. Retail/consumer/service sees losses (spoilage) of >$162 billion/year, or ~30% of all food, of which around ~20% is dairy6. Chemical preservatives are a principal approach to mitigating spoilage, however because of evolving consumer preferences and regulatory concerns, many are being phased out. There is a need for new natural preservatives (e.g., bioprotectives) which use a variety of mechanisms to reduce spoilage. What the technology would do to meet that need: Our research will utilize our novel platform to develop next-generation natural bioprotectives able to meaningfully decrease food waste by significantly increasing (targeting 25+%) shelf life of consumer foods. This research will be a proof of concept for understanding the capabilities of microbial solutions to act as superior bioprotectant solutions. Technical Feasibility: Feasibility is high. By utilizing our proprietary platform, we are significantly de-risking our research. Together with commercial partners, we have validated our platform on product lines in the fermented beverage space, improvement of organoleptic properties in plant-based proteins and seltzer waters, low alcohol wines, probiotics with superior PH resistance for ingestion, and companion pet food projects in dental health. Commercial application(s): Beyond cottage cheese and even dairy at large, we believe we can apply our same platform technology to developing solutions in the other top loss categories as well, which includes fresh fruits and vegetables (19.6% of all spoiled food); meat, poultry, and fish (8.5% of all spoiled food); and processed fruit and vegetables (8.6% of all spoiled food)6. End users: The end users are cottage cheese manufacturers. Our customers, the manufacturers, would purchase satchels of our novel bioprotectant from us that they use seamlessly in their established cottage cheese manufacturing and processing steps. The benefit of extended shelf stability we provide to our food manufacturing customers is then passed on to the end consumer in the form of longer consumption windows and decreased spoilage, thus leading to decreased food waste. Size of the potential market: Global dairy market is ~$771 billion with a growth of ~5%19. Our initial sales target will be U.S. cottage cheese market, which is ~$1.1 billion18. Assuming modest market penetration, and applying our existing customer validated pricing model, we predict initial yearly revenue of ~$1.7 million, with opportunity for rapid growth to $10s of millions over the next 3-5 years in the U.S. (higher potential globally). Performance compared to current technologies and potential for environmental benefits: Success is demonstrating a novel bioprotection agent that demonstrates 25% improvement on state-of-the-art products (e.g. HOLDBAC, FreshQ) in challenge assays with common spoilage organisms, cottage cheese, through a Superculture fermentate. Bioprotection solutions can significantly improve shelf life of clean label and natural products, resulting in significant food waste reduction. From a manufacturing and energy perspective, microbial bioprotectants can outperform current state-of-the-art techniques such as irradiation and chemical additives (long environmental half-lives) or pasteurization and freezing (energy intensive)3,4.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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