Uni spin-out Cibus get funding for food fraud testing

UK food testing company Cibus Analytical has raised £570,000 ($710,000) in seed funding to advance its work on food authenticity and safety.

Incorporated at the end of 2018 as a spin-out of the Institute for Global Food Security (IGFS) at Queen's University Belfast in Northern Ireland, Cibus is co-founded by renowned food scientist Professor Chris Elliott (pictured), who authored the UK government review into the food supply chain after the 2013 horsemeat scandal.

The round was led by QUBIS, the commercialisation arm of Queen’s University Belfast, along with other investors, and was also backed by the government’s innovation agency Innovate UK.

The funding will be used to further develop and commercialise innovative methods to test for food safety vulnerabilities, ensuring authenticity of ingredients across the food supply chain.

Food fraud costs the UK food and drink industry up to £12bn (around $15bn) a year.

Foods such as grains, spices, coffee, wine, honey and fish are among the categories most commonly subjected to fraud according to a list drawn up by the EU Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety.

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