Senoptica’s FDA approval opens path for US trials to combat food waste

The Irish food tech company aims to reduce food waste by 11 million tonnes annually equivalent to 240 million tonnes of CO2 emissions

Brendan Rice of Senoptica Technologies (Photo by Jason Clarke Photography)

Irish company, Senoptica Technologies has announced approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Agency (FDA) in the United States to enter the market. 

The company, which is based out of Trinity College, produces patented sensor technology, and recently completed trials with a large UK retailer. It monitors the oxygen in modified atmosphere (MAP) food packaging enabling food manufacturers to identify spoiled goods before they reach retailers shelves. The company aims to expand its application for retailers to extend the shelf life of fresh packaged food by up to 40%, reducing vast volumes of food waste.

On the back of receiving FDA approval, Senoptica is set to expand operations in the UK and retail trials of its technology across the United States. Senoptica’s solution uses optical sensors created by their patented food-safe ink which is printed inside packaging. This indicates the level of oxygen inside the food packaging, offering a real-time analysis of the condition of goods inside, predicting spoilage before it happens. For manufacturers it means defective packs of food can immediately be returned to the packing line and repacked, saving time and money across the entire food value chain. For retailers and consumers it means savings in time and money and effectively.

Global food waste continues to be a huge problem worldwide. According to figures from The World Counts, roughly one third (1.3 billion tons) of food is wasted per year. In addition, figures from the ReFed, a US national non-profit, show that 91 million tonnes of food waste occurs each year in the US. Food waste is a significant contributor to climate change, with food loss and waste contributing to 8-10% of greenhouse gas emissions, according to the United Nations.

Senoptica hopes to reduce food waste by 11 million tonnes annually, the equivalent of 240 million tonnes of CO2. The company was founded in 2018 by Brendan Rice, Dr Steve Comby and Dr Rachel Evans.

Brendan Rice, chief executive officer, Senoptica Technologies, said: “Senoptica is on a mission to use deeptech to increase food supply chain reliability with a view of mitigating food waste in the long term with manufacturers and retail partners. Our technology currently improves the probability of finding failed packs by up to 11,000 times compared to today’s industry standard. With our unique solution, we hope to revolutionise the food supply chain, through helping all in the food supply chain become smarter about food spoilage.”

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