Fingerprint tech for food: ProfilePrint cites alternative proteins and specialty ingredients for innovation

By Guan Yu Lim contact

- Last updated on GMT

The firm recently closed a seven-figure pre-Series A round which will go towards developing additional solution modules on the ProfilePrint SaaS platform and expanding its team ©ProfilePrint
The firm recently closed a seven-figure pre-Series A round which will go towards developing additional solution modules on the ProfilePrint SaaS platform and expanding its team ©ProfilePrint

Related tags: Singapore, Food safety, Traceability, Authentication, alternative protein, Specialty food ingredients, fingerprint

Singapore-based start-up ProfilePrint has cited growing interest in alternative proteins and specialty ingredients as potential areas to explore with its patented artificial intelligence food ingredient analysis technology.

ProfilePrint which was established in 2018, initially focused on select verticals including tea, coffee, cocoa, herbs and spices.

The platform (ProfilePrint SaaS) allows various stakeholders from growers, manufacturers and retailers to predict real-time ingredient quality, taste, freshness and authenticity with just a 5g of sample​.

In recent years, alternative proteins from plant-based to cell-based have gained considerable global interest, however there were concerns of quality, safety and adulteration of such products. The firm is now seeing potential for its technology in this area.

Alternative protein

According to ProfilePrint’s founder and CEO Alan Lai, most alternative proteins are typically sold in paste, liquid or powder form, which are easy to counterfeit or blended with cheaper fillers.

This is where we have the vision of having ProfilePrint create unique IDs based on its metabolomic fingerprints​.”

Last year, Lai said the firm evaluated both animal and alternative proteins, including brands such as Impossible, Quorn and Beyond, to Farmland blended beef, and fresh minced wagyu beef.

ProfilePrint was able to rapidly identify the unique fingerprints of each sample. The results were that these fingerprints within the same environmental condition remain consistent and replicable, allowing ease of traceability and fraud detection, and when left exposed over time saw fingerprint changes that allowed ProfilePrint to also detect freshness-level.

“Beyond authenticity and freshness, we were also able to train the model with parameters such as sensory scores as well as cholesterol, fat, protein, sugar and achieve high prediction accuracy within a few seconds scan​.”

Lai said ProfilePrint’s use can extend beyond current food ingredients, with lab-grown products a key area of interest.

While the firm continues to focus on its initial verticals​ of tea, coffee and cocoa, Lai told us: “as a startup, we remain focused on a few verticals that we have done well and will open our doors to explore strategic partnerships on new verticals​.”

Specialty ingredients

Apart from alternative proteins, the growing demand for specialty cocoa, coffee and tea would play in the interest for ProfilePrint.

Such products are marketed and differentiated by quality, origin, flavour or any other factors that provide a USP and higher pricepoint.

This is often done via a grading process which is highly dependent on human graders to see, touch and taste, which can be inaccurate, inconsistent or through lab testing, which can be costly, destroys the samples, and requires long turnaround time.

ProfilePrint says its solution can generate data reliably, remotely and digitally, especially in times such as the COVID-19 pandemic, where businesses were restricted from sending staff to farms for sourcing and quality inspections.

Fresh funds

The firm recently closed a seven-figure pre-Series A round which will go towards developing additional solution modules on the ProfilePrint SaaS platform and expanding its team.

With this round of funding, we continue to work with PhDs, MBAs, graduates from universities, Polytechnics and ITE vocational schools, as well as persons-with-disabilities and maintain a diverse and inclusive hiring policy to grow our business​,” Lai said.

The round was participated by Enterprise Singapore’s investment arm SEEDS Capital, Glocalink Singapore, Leave-a-Nest Singapore, BP de Silva Group and other investors.

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