Tyson Ventures has invested in Clear Labs Inc., creators of the Clear Safety automated food safety platform for routine pathogen detection.
Terms regarding the level of Tyson’s investment in the company were not released.
Clear Labs was one of the presenting companies at the inaugural Poultry Tech Summit, hosted by WATT Global Media and held November 5-7, 2018, in Atlanta. In its presentation, Clear Labs showcased its Next Generation Sequencing, which uses advanced data analytics and bioinformatics tools for detection and serotype identification of Salmonella spp. In samples taken from carcass rinses, ground poultry, poultry parts, boot swabs and equipment swabs. The system’s accuracy reduces inventory holding time and delayed shipments, confirmation costs and delays, and retail short-supply penalties.
According to a Bloomberg report, this is the first investment in the food safety space for Tyson Ventures, the venture capital arm of Tyson Foods, but Reese Schroeder, the managing director at Tyson Ventures, indicated it would not likely be the last as technologies such as the ones developed by Clear Labs can benefit their own food safety initiatives.
“If all goes as planned, this will be in lab settings and help us do that better, faster and more accurately,” Schroeder told Bloomberg. “We worked closely with our microbiology lab in evaluating companies, and this was a good first choice for a first investment in food safety.
Schroeder, who also spoke at the 2018 Poultry Tech Summit, at the time identified six key areas as ripe for innovation and 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.
Since Tyson Ventures was established in late 2016, the company has invested in a number of initiatives, including cell-cultured food companies Memphis Meats and Future Meat Technologies; Tovala, a company that makes smart countertop steam ovens with fresh ready-to-cook meals; and plant-based protein company Beyond Meat.