Spore.bio is a firm that “has developed a new pathogen-detection methodology. It works by shining an optical light on surfaces where clean food has been, and doing the same with unclean food. It then compares the two datasets to detect when a surface is not clean”. CEO Amine Raji explained in simpler terms “Basically, we send light to the sample to take kind of a really fancy snapshot” and added that The images that Spore.Bio produces are being read beyond what the naked eye can see. “We have machine learning models that will recognize the spectral nature of the bacteria in this snapshot. To make our system work, we have to train it with lots of samples of foods and beverages, contaminated and non-contaminated, to create this huge dataset. That is a huge asset for us. That’s why we signed some contracts with some of the biggest manufacturers in the world.”
Raji also added that “We’re building a hardware device that is able to detect pathogens immediately, directly on the factory floor. This handheld device makes it easier to carry out quality sampling, providing almost real-time insights into any potential bacteria in the factory,” and said that “Our technology sends light at specific wavelengths in the UV-Infrared range. Bacteria reacts to this excitation in a certain way and we train our computer vision and chemometrics models to recognize this spectral signature.” He also explained that “The hardware is based on advanced photonic technologies. We are currently patenting our technology so we can’t divulge any more,”
Also, he said “We are already working with certifying bodies to get this certification, but this is not mandatory to start commercialization”. He added that the product is undergoing a “stringent testing and development process” to ensure it is as accurate as possible to detect bacteria and pathogens in the factory. The company claims “its solution will eventually work almost in real time. The implications are that a food processor will end up with less downtime. And that is significant, because according to research by Deloitte, the cost of downtime to the global food and beverage processing industry alone is estimated to be in the region of $50 billion annually”.