How do you know if your food is still good to eat?

That was the starting point for Bosetein, a startup based in Stuttgart, that has developed a real-time bacterial inspection technology of food and other applications. Alok Singh, the founder and technical head of Bosetein, explains the idea and the solution.

Alok, you say that your Realtime Bacterial Inspection Sensor (ReBIS) is revolutionizing the food inspection. How?

Each year foodborne illnesses sicken 600 million people worldwide and more than 23 million people in Europe. Bacterial inspection methods have an important role in preventing this problem, but the slowness of the present inspection techniques is a major hurdle. The current inspection techniques take 2 to 4 days to produce the results. At times the results come after the product is already in the market, resulting in food recalls that can damage the brand image and cause monetary losses to the companies.

We have developed a revolutionary non-invasive and fully automated system for detecting and counting bacteria in food items, allowing the prediction of its freshness.

ReBIS uses optical technologies and advanced Machine learning (ML) algorithms. Instead of inspecting few points on the meat item our Areal Scan sensor will enable the inspection of the whole meat item to determine freshness of every part by measuring microbial load on the surface and the ML based analytical software will ensure that the system can provide the results in real-time.

ReBIS analysing meat

We aim to provide a rapid, sensitive, compact and reliable sensor can boost hygiene in food, healthcare, pharmaceuticals and other industries. ReBIS estimates the bacterial count in three easy steps: scan, estimate, and indicate. Users can either see result of the inspection like a traffic light system in red, yellow or green or like a scale with more information.

According to that information the further procedure can easily be determined.

Where in the food chain can ReBIS be of use?

ReBIS can be used all along the food supply chain to assure high product quality – from farm to fork. The slaughterhouses can make sure that only bacterial-safe food leaves the production and the processing facilities can use it to maintain the high hygiene standard and control the processes. We also help retailers to reduce the food waste by predicting shelf-life in real-time.

What is your USP?

As mentioned earlier, testing takes time. With our cost-effective solution and easy-to-use technology, all food can be checked – non-invasive, real-time and fully automated.

Our solution is based on our patented optical technology, which doesn’t only ensure a precise measurement with high accuracy but also makes sure that each and every corner of the food is scanned and verified for human consumption.

With our technology you can sort out only contaminated ingredients and not the finished products.

This results in less losses, less food waste, less food recall and in higher customer satisfaction and increased profit.

What other applications for ReBIS are in your focus?

ReBIS can be tweaked to be used in B2C applications like smart household appliances or household mobile gadgets. Currently, our focus lies on B2B applications. Bacterial detection in food, packaging, hospitality, healthcare, pharmaceuticals or equipment hygiene is essential and a crucial factor for further safety for people and success for companies.

By the way, where does Bosetein as your company name come from?

Well, Bosetein is a mixture of the names Bose and Einstein. Satyendranath Bose was an Indian physician who together with Albert Einstein gave the theory of bose-einstein condensate. Thus, Bosetein represents both Germany and India, just like we (our team) do.

And who are the faces behind Bosetein?

Our team consists of experienced researchers and software engineers. Mr. Jayesh Shinde is experienced in advanced technologies related to ML, communication and cloud services. I have done a PhD (doctor) in optical engineering with years of experience in optical sensing. Prof. Wolfgang Osten from the University of Stuttgart is our mentor and has accompanied our development over the years.

And your personal history as “inventor”?

I came from India to Germany for my Master Thesis in Optical Engineering. Prof. Osten was impressed and asked me to stay and take a project at the University. Few years later together with Prof. Takeda (a Japanese professor) we started another project with the objective to utilize any random object as high quality optical lens or mirror. The project was a huge success and I was really impressed by the myriad applications of that technology, potential is huge but I had a feeling that I want to contribute in other fields as well like food sector and healthcare. So I decided to leave the institute to found my own business, Bosetein. Luckily, the Stuttgart University provided me with institutional help, facilities and access to scientific papers for what I am very grateful.

What is your vision?

We believe that few passionate individuals can change the world for better. Most of the current global issues can be solved by technology. ReBIS is an example of that where we are expediting the detection of bacteria leading to better hygiene, more safety and more health for people.

You won the 5-HT X-linker bootcamp in May and attended the London Tech Week as the first prize. How was your resume of the events?

Alok Singh winning the first prize at the 5-HT X-linker awarded by Dr. Christoph Wegner from BASF and Dr. Henning Franke from Roche

The X-linker was simply awesome! I got the opportunity to exchange experiences with some really good startups, learned a lot from the experience of the mentors and made so many valuable contacts – the same is true for London – it has helped me to streamline my startup journey. As an organization we have a better understanding of the complete process today which helps us in taking better decisions and move quickly. We are truly thankful to Frank (Funke) for giving us the opportunity to participate in the X-linker and to the team 5-HT for all the help and support we continue to receive till today.

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