SomaDetect, an agriculture technology startup that measures milk quality from every cow at milking, won the FoodBytes! New York Judges’ Choice Award. SomaDetect uses sensors that fit into existing milking equipment to measure the fat and protein content of dairy as well as somatic cells — an indication when a cow is suffering from mastitis — progesterone, and antibiotics.
Data about the quality of the milk and the health of the herd is presented to farmers in real-time through SomaDetect’s software platform, giving them access to analytics on the quality of the milk and herd health indicators from every cow at every milking.
“Dairy is 10% of the world’s protein, the largest source of animal protein we have today. It’s absolutely part of most of our lives from milk and yogurt to cheese or butter, and an important part of the global food system,” Bethany Deshpande, CEO told the audience responding to a question about the rise of non-dairy milk products such as almond milk.
“There are roughly 40,000 dairy farms across the country. With investment support from Dairy Farmers of America that means about 25% of them believe in SomaDetect,” said Tina May, innovation lead at Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN and one of the judges.
Winnow Solutions, the food waste tracking technology from the UK, won the People’s Choice Award. Winnow, which is targeting restaurants and other hospitality businesses, measures the amount and type of food waste a restaurant is throwing away in the garbage with a metering system.
“We want to set ourselves up as the Tesla of food waste, but with less ego,” said head of marketing David Jackson. “Restaurants lack the information about how much food to produce. Forecasting is stressful to do with imperfect information. Through software and a scale, Winnow aims to solve this food waste issue.”
Wasteless, the Israeli retail technology startup also hoping to combat food waste, won the Highly Commended Award for its dynamic pricing technology for grocery stores. Wasteless recently raised $2 million in Series A funding.
Nick Fereday, executive director and senior analyst of Food & Consumer Trends at Rabobank, and FoodBytes! NYC judge, commented on the success of this year’s FoodBytes! NYC platform, saying “Being surrounded by such ingenuity is truly wonderful. These companies are at the forefront of groundbreaking innovation and there’s a collective energy in the building that’s contagious. It gives me a lot of optimism about the future of food and the ecosystem we are helping to create.”