BELFAST food testing specialist Cibus Analytical (now t/a Bia Analytical) has completed a £570,000 seed funding round which it will use to help tackle food contamination and adulteration at a time when fraud is costing the UK food and drink industry £12 billion a year.
Cibus, which has emerged from the world renowned Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen’s University, develops innovative methods to test for food safety vulnerabilities, ensuring authenticity of ingredients across the food supply chain.
The funding round has been led by QUBIS, the commercialisation arm at Queen’s, and also involves a number of angel investors with a range of backgrounds from within the food sector and support from Innovate UK.
As well as offering a laboratory testing service for food authenticity and safety, Cibus Analytical will extend its product offering to include highly innovative portable testing tools to allow customers to rapidly test for food authenticity and safety at the point of sampling across global supply chains
Foods such as grains, spices, coffee, wine, honey and fish are among the categories most commonly subjected to fraud, and Cibus has already been working with a number of the leading food retailers and suppliers to develop a solution for this growing problem.
Cibus was founded by IGFS researchers Prof Chris Elliott, Dr Terry McGrath, Dr Simon Haughey and Dr Pamela Galvin-King.
Prof Elliott, who is also the founder of IGFS, said:
This funding for Cibus will allow the development of a much needed commercial solution to help protect the integrity of the global food supply system.
And Brian McCaul, chief executive at QUBIS, added:
We’re excited to support this investment round and welcome the group of domain specific angel investors who have invested alongside ourselves.
Clive Black, chair of the industry advisory board at IFGS, said:
Food safety and food integrity have been growing issues for policy makers, reputable food systems and consumers for some years.
The food testing provided by Cibus Analytical ensures food safety and boosts consumer trust across the supply chain.
Gary McDonald Business Editor, The Irish News
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