Singapore-based startup Natural Trace develops the patented DNA-based food-grade tag

In conjunction with World Food Safety Day, which mobilises action to prevent, detect and manage foodborne risks, and improve human health, Natural Trace has announced the launch of its global headquarters in Singapore.

The Singapore-based startup was founded by two scientists and angel investors, who came together during the pandemic to tackle the food safety, compliance, and integrity issues of the global food supply chain.

Taking inspiration from the PCR testing concept, Switzerland-based Dr Chantal Roth, and New York-based Prof Lukas Muller started Natural Trace, which developed the world’s first patented supply chain traceability solution to tag individual batches of any food product. The solution, NaturalTag, which traces every ingredient in a food product, aims to augment sustainable food production and consumption of safe foods.

NaturalTag consists of natural, food-grade, and patented DNA that is FDA-approved. It is added as a powder or liquid in minimal amounts to products and ingredients.

Most traceability solutions today, including blockchain, barcodes and serial numbers, are external, non-food-grade tags. NaturalTag is the only food-grade, in-product tag solution that allows growers and companies to trace every ingredient in every product along each stage of the supply chain.

With a minimal quantity of NaturalTag microbial identifiers, each containing a natural and unique DNA sequence, the unique serial identifiers are captured into a traceability report, which generates origination information of each ingredient in a food product. Stored in Natural Trace’s cloud solution, companies and growers can retrieve the traceability report with fast turnaround times. The tamper-proof technology makes authenticating the origin of every single ingredient in a food product possible.

Singapore is a natural choice for the company to call home due to its vibrant food innovation and R&D ecosystem, and the conducive environment for innovative startups with solutions that address some of the world’s biggest problems.

“Natural Trace is already working with NUS on product testing with potential food ingredients from early adopters, and we are pleased to be venture building over the last year with the team,” said Mr. CL Goh from Blue InCube Ventures, one of Natural Trace’s early Singapore-based angel investors.

After successfully raising seed funding to kickstart operations in Singapore, Natural Trace is in the midst of raising US$3 million for its expansion.

Singapore-based Dr Alex Wild, an angel investor who is also mentoring the company, commented: “Natural Trace is our response to growing food safety concerns around the world, such as foot and mouth disease among cows in Indonesia, poultry disease in Malaysia, GMO contamination in palm oil. Natural Trace is made for growers and companies looking for a tamper-proof method of authenticating the origin of their products.”

“Our goal is to ensure food safety standards with transparency all along the production process, from farm to fork. This World Food Safety Day marks the beginning of our quest and we have so many exciting developments happening in the next 12 months,” Dr. Wild added.