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UK startup OSY Group reports funding boost for retail technology which extends shelf life of food — Retail Technology Innovation Hub


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Marc Braterman, Chief Executive at OSY Group, says: “Currently 1.3 billion tonnes of food is wasted or lost each year globally, and between eight and ten per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions result directly from food waste.”

“We aspire to lead the charge in global food waste reduction through our innovative technology, as well as helping to drive down greenhouse gas emissions and food poverty, supporting grocers as they strive to achieve their sustainability targets, and enabling food producers to tap into more export markets.”

“This latest funding round is a major milestone as it will enable us to accelerate the commercialisation of Xtend in the UK and internationally, while also focusing on growing our team. We are looking to create a number of roles in the coming months in line with our strategy.”

Xtend is a water-based antimicrobial coating for packaging surfaces. It leaves microscopic pins on the packaging surfaces that puncture and kill microbes and slow the natural spoiling process that affects the fresh produce within.

It has undergone testing at independent laboratories, universities and other facilities, which has proven the technology to be food safe and compliant with the Food Contact Materials regulations for fresh produce, Braterman says.

Testing has shown that Xtend extends shelf-life by multiple days on various forms of packaging, he added.

It is suitable for lidding film, plastic trays, flow wrap, fibre and board, flexible film paper, outer packaging and board and film combined for food-to-go, such as sandwiches.

Trials of Xtend have also been conducted with a major UK grocer as well as leading soft fruit producers and large European packaging companies.

Braterman says: “These trials, in addition to the extensive testing carried out at facilities in the UK, have demonstrated that Xtend maintains freshness for longer and therefore significantly contributes to reducing food waste.”

“It can be easily integrated into existing packaging production, and has a range of other applications beyond food produce due to its direct coating qualities.”

The latest investment, from three new individuals and one existing backer, follows a £250,000 equity fundraising last year and an award from Innovate UK through its ‘Better Food for All’ competition to support companies forging innovative ways to tackle nutrition challenges.

Innovate UK’s funding is supporting OSY’s ongoing research and development.

OSY is one of only a small number of companies selected to be part of a global innovation business programme run by Innovate UK in Canada and Australia.

Among the advisers to OSY are Dr Malcolm Driffield and Dr Rhodri Evans, of scientific, engineering and regulatory consultancy Exponent International.

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