IdentiGEN welcomes Irish government Disruptive Technology Fund backing

Irish Genetics company wins €1.8m ‘Beyond Food Labelling’ R&D grant

Irish genetics company IdentiGEN has welcomed a €1.8m research and development award to further strengthen its position as a world leader in DNA technologies within the food industry.

IdentiGEN which is based in Dublin, and provides DNA traceability solutions for the meat and seafood sectors, will use the investment to advance food quality and integrity, working together with University College Dublin (UCD).

IdentiGEN has operations in Ireland, UK, USA and Europe and works with major international retailers, distributors and processors.

Today it has been awarded €1.8m from the Disruptive Technologies Innovation Fund, announced by the Irish Government’s Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.

IdentiGEN’s Managing Director and Founder Ciarán Meghen said the funding will be used to further develop genomic technologies to improve confidence in the origin, quality and safety of food.

“Food labelling is a major cost to industry and has been shown to be vulnerable to abuse and fraud. IdentiGEN has identified an approach to transform and industrialise the use of DNA profiling in food labelling.”

“This will involve working with the UCD Animal Genomics Laboratory where we expect to transform the cost base of DNA analysis, making the technology widely applicable.”

“New technologies present us with the opportunity to disrupt the food labelling status quo. This investment will support IdentiGEN to remain at the cutting edge of genomics and we look forward to the global opportunities which it will present,” he said.

Further Information

Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications, Dublin, Ireland.

[email protected] / 00353 (0) 86 317 9731.

Information for Editors

About IdentiGEN

IdentiGEN is a leading provider of DNA identification solutions to the international agri-food industry, with laboratory operations in Ireland, UK, USA and Europe. The company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.

UK’s Seafresh to supply M&S with DNA-traceable farmed shrimp

UK’s Seafresh to supply M&S with DNA-traceable farmed shrimp

UK importer Seafresh is set to supply retailer Marks and Spencer with farmed shrimp which, for the first time, claims to offer DNA-based assurance as to origin and quality.

Through enhanced transparency the TraceBack program will also help promote ethical labor practices, which have been highlighted in the global shrimp industry, the project said.

The technology offering – already available in animal meat – has been developed by DNA tracing company IdentiGEN, in partnership with Seafresh.

Seafresh’s Central American shrimp will be sold at M&S outlets in the UK, the first time such an offering has been brought to the consumer, said IdentiGEN in a press release.

IdentiGEN co-founder and director Ronan Loftus said the application of DNA TraceBack® to the industry brings a further degree of accountability to production and labor practices, which are increasingly being demanded by both retailers and the consumer.

“With its complex and global supply chain, the shrimp industry has been subject to high profile controversy in recent years for poor quality, excessive use of antibiotics and reports of human trafficking, slave and child labor,” he said.

“This program will give guaranteed transparency to both retailer and consumer that what they are buying is sourced from approved sources and meets highest standards in terms of production practices.”

Recent scientific advances in DNA technology has made traceability deliverable at a large scale, enabling its expansion into the seafood sector.

A sample taken from a female shrimp can apparently be used to trace all of its progeny (hundreds of thousands of shrimp) back to its farm of origin with unprecedented accuracy.

“This makes DNA sampling and TraceBack® of large numbers of shrimp from the fork back to their exact farm of production possible and cost efficient. The system can also be used to trace shrimp post-cooking, or further processing, where considerable co-mingling of production from different sources can occur.”

IdentiGEN wins major genomics contract with Norwegian salmon breeding consortium

IdentiGEN wins major genomics contract

Leading food-animal DNA identification company, Dublin based IdentiGEN, today announced the successful award of a major contract.

IdentiGEN will serve the multi-annual breeding objectives of Marine Harvest and SalmoBreed (a Benchmark Holdings plc. company), two of the world’s leading salmon breeding companies together with Nofima (the Norwegian Institute of Food, Fisheries and Aquaculture Research).

Enabled by advances in high-throughput genotyping technology, IdentiGEN will support the ambitions of its aquaculture clients to develop and deliver productive, safe and sustainable seafood through improved genetics.

The initial contract, which involves DNA analysis of hundreds of thousands of fish, provides a foundation for the future DNA analysis of millions of salmon farmed throughout the world.

Through the power of genomic selection, traits of significant economic value including growth rate, disease resistance and product quality, can be advanced by naturally harnessing the genetic variation that exists within the breeding population.

IdentiGEN’s Managing Director and Founder Ciaran Meghen said: “We are particularly excited to work with the Consortium, as the Norwegian industry sets the pace for global innovation.

“As aquaculture production recently surpassed wild caught fisheries, the importance of genetic improvement across diverse farmed fish and shellfish species cannot be underestimated.”

Marine Harvest Genomics Specialist Dr. Matthew Baranski commented: “As the cost of genomic testing has fallen the opportunity for its uptake has accelerated and we are pushing the boundaries of its application in aquaculture, as the potential to improve productivity using these techniques is compelling”.

SalmoBreed’s Dr. Borghild Hillestad confirmed that IdentiGEN had been selected based on a combination of its technical capabilities, quality of service and competitiveness in responding to the Consortium’s requirements. 

Further Information
Ronan Cavanagh, Cavanagh Communications, Dublin, Ireland.
[email protected] / 00353 (0) 86 317 9731. 

Information for Editors 

About IdentiGEN
IdentiGEN is a leading provider of DNA identification solutions to the international agri-food industry, with laboratory operations in Ireland, UK, USA and Canada. The company is headquartered in Dublin, Ireland.

About Marine Harvest
Marine Harvest Group is the world’s leading seafood company and largest producer of farmed salmon, with presence in 24 countries and a total of 12,400 employees worldwide. The company is headquartered in Bergen, Norway, and is listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange and New York Stock Exchange (NYSE). 

About SalmoBreed
SalmoBreed is a world leading company within breeding and genetics of Atlantic salmon. The head office is in Bergen, Norway and the company is owned by the UK listed company Benchmark Holdings plc. 

Nofima was established in 2008, and is Europe’s largest institute for applied research within the fields of fisheries, aquaculture and food. The institute delivers internationally recognised research and develops solutions that provide a competitive edge throughout the value chain.