Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl
DCA

Flavor recognition technology on its way to the market. Is your startup company next?

How do we know, if our food tastes good, or if it has already gone bad? The startup BettaSensing has created an innovative flavor recognition technology for the food industry. Last year, the company took part in the EIT Food entrepreneurship program Seedbed, which in Denmark is based at the Department of Food Science (AU FOOD) at Aarhus University. Seedbed welcomes new applications from the Nordics now.

[Translate to English:] BettaSensing er i gang med at udvikle en teknologi, der kan aflæse smagens ”fingeraftryk”. Foto: Mathilde Kræmer.

Do you have a new startup company within the agri-food tech sector, which can transform the food system? Then the Seedbed Incubator might be something for you.

The program supports innovative entrepreneurs with ideas that have the potential to develop transformative solutions for the food sector. It can be within the area of for instance sustainable packaging, biotechnology, robotics and automation, smart farming, ag-tech or big data.

- The program allows the entrepreneurs to test the market directly with potential customers and learn how to progress from commercial proposition to validated business. We welcome deep tech spinouts and startups from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, the Netherlands, Finland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands to apply before 10th of April, says Charlotte Bay Hansen, who is the EIT Food Seedbed Hub Manager at AU FOOD.

The participants will benefit from coaching from leading agri-food sector experts with specialized knowledge and skills to develop food sector innovation. Furthermore, participants will receive a €6,000 funding to validate a business idea with potential customers.

- It is a unique opportunity, and we hope that it will attract many new entrepreneurs. For us at AU FOOD, it is a good opportunity to build bridge between our researchers, entrepreneurs and industry, and to have a hub at AU is a natural next step  in our continuing entrepreneurial support to agri-food startups since we started in 2018 with student entrepreneurs (Food eHub). Our vision is to strengthen our ecosystem in our region to benefit more entrepreneurs to create impact in society. We need more deep tech science entrepreneurs in the agri-food sector to face challenges, says Charlotte Bay Hansen.

Flavor fingerprint technology

Last year, the company BettaSensing took part in the EIT Food Seedbed program with their technological innovation - a flavor recognition tool that can be very useful in the food industry. BettaSensing is a spinout company from a Grand Solution project, a collaboration between Aarhus University, DTU and Carlsberg, funded by Innovation Fund Denmark. The entrepreneurial community The Kitchen played an important role in the program in supporting BettaSensing in collaboration with AU FOOD.

Co-Founder of BettaSensing and analytical chemist, Dr. Noga Gal, explains the innovative idea of the company:

- Research has made many advances with other artificial sensing, but is still lacking behind with flavor recognition. This type of technology can really be useful for many needs across the food market. At BettaSensing, we are now developing a disposable, non-toxic chemical sensor grid that can be analyzed on the spot without experts or expensive equipment needed, she says and adds:

- We have developed a software that uses machine learning models in order to identify the distinct flavor profile or flavor fingerprint. Those profiles can then be used either for new flavor development or for quality control needs. There are many different possibilities with this technology, and BettaSensing can therefore go in many different directions. We are currently working on how we can scale up to create big data, and we are in dialogue with different investors and companies to understand the market needs in order to soon be able to create the first pilot testing.

Closer to the market

In 2020, BettaSensing took part in the EIT Food Seedbed program in Aarhus, and this marked the beginning of a new era for the company:

- Before joining the Seedbed program, we had the idea of creating a spinout company, but the program really pushed us to turn idea into action. Already in the application process, we received valuable support from the Seedbed Incubator at AU FOOD - we found a name, found a logo, and we got things moving, says Noga Gal.

BettaSensing is now closer to the market:

- We learned how to change our company presentation from an academic pitch to an industry-oriented pitch. We had many courses on how to adapt to the market, how to create a value proposition and really explain to customers, what our product can do for them, and what challenges we can help them solve. It was also helpful to meet the other entrepreneurs participating in the Seedbed program and learn from their experiences. It was really our beginning from just an idea to something concrete.

BettaSensing is currently a candidate for the EIT Food Startup Launch Grant of €60,000. If successful, the funding will further contribute to the establishment of the company.

Does your startup company also have the potential to the transform the food system?

Apply for the EIT Food Seedbed program here no later than April 10 


Further information

You can read more about EIT Food here

You can read more about the EIT Food Seedbed program here 

Read more about the participation of Aarhus University in EIT Food here

Watch the video presentation of the company BettaSensing here

Read more about the Innovation Fund Denmark Grand Solutions program here

BettaSensing has also participated in the entrepreneurial community The Kitchen at Aarhus University. Visit the website of the Kitchen here.

Contact:

Charlotte Bay Hansen, EIT Food Seedbed Hub Manager at AU FOOD, Aarhus University, e-mail: charlotte@food.au.dk, phone: +45 93508925

Noga Gal, PhD, Co-Founder of BettaSensing, e-mail: noga@inano.au.dk, phone: +45 30849599