Urike Hodges, vice president of business operations for SafeTraces, Pleasanton, Calif. and Sky Johnson, sales manager for Western region for SafeTraces, say the company’s technology provides full traceability at the item level. ( The Packer )

ORLANDO, Fla. - SafeTraces is promoting its new-to-market sanitation verification solution and its patented DNA barcode application system for fresh produce items.

The company’s solution puts a DNA-based tracer directly on food, and the tracer travels with food through the supply chain. 

The tracer can be coupled with a block-chain based or centralized registry system, according to the company. The invisible DNA barcode is applied to produce by suppliers at a packing facility in a processing step (such as wax). 

The DNA-based tracer gives what the company calls unbreakable links between physical objects and their digital certificates.

So far, the system has been done with citrus, melons, lettuce and fertilizer, according to the company.

“It is an extra data point that can be read within 15 to 20 minutes anywhere down the supply chain, onsite,” said Urike Hodges, vice president of business operations for SafeTraces, Pleasanton, Calif.
The SafeTraces Source Assurance Solution answers the question of where the produce was sourced from and if a certain item is implicated in a recall or not, Hodges said.

Sky Johnson, sales manager for the Western region for SafeTraces, said no sticker on the box or fruit is required.

The DNA codes allows suppliers to determine whether a piece of produce was supplied by the company or not. The equipment has the ability to generate unique barcodes every few seconds and supply any level of granularity needed, Johnson said.

At the end of October, Johnson said SafeTraces is launching its SaniTracers and AquaTags systems that help fresh produce handlers and processors verify the effectiveness of sanitation of plants and equipment in minutes. AquaTags and SaniTracers are non-living food-safe DNA-tagged particles engineered to behave like pathogens during sanitation, according to the company. 

The system uses augmented reality to select randomized areas for application.

In October, SafeTraces announced the company closed a $10 million equity financing round. 
The round was led by S2G Ventures (Seed to Growth), a leading multi-stage investment firm focused on the food and agriculture industry, and Bunge Ventures, the venture capital arm of Bunge Ltd., a leading global agribusiness and food company. 

 
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