Food+City 2017 Challenge selects microbiological testing innovator Yarok
Yarok’s fast microbiological testing system for the fresh food industry is a finalist in the upcoming Food+City Challenge in Austin, Texas for improving urban food distribution.
December 1, 2016 - (JERUSALEM, Israel) - Yarok Technology Transfer Ltd., innovation-based developer of fast, accurate tests for the fresh food Industry, today announced it is a finalist in the upcoming Food+City Challenge Prize contest, taking place in Austin, Texas in February, 2017.
Yarok has developed a fast microbiological testing system for the fresh food industry to protect consumers from dangerous bacteria, such as E.coli, Listeria and Salmonella, as well as safeguard producer interests.
“We’re proud to represent Israel at Food+City,” said Yarok CEO Jonathan Sierra. “Israel has long been recognized as a world leading innovator in food growing. Now, as the industry expands its focus to also ensuring ‘farm to fork’ food safety, we aim to help make Israel a world leader in that area, too.”
Yarok offers a solution to a problem faced daily by fresh food producers: the lack of truly fast testing for dangerous bacteria.
Sierra: “Current microbial tests for the fresh food industry are too slow; traditional testing systems (HPC) take days and so-called ‘Rapid’ tests can take 18 to 32 hours. By that time, fresh food has left the production facility for supermarkets or, worse yet, has already been eaten. So, if there’s a problem, it’s too late for food producers to avoid expensive recalls, complicated lawsuits and damaged reputations – not to mention safeguard consumer health. This problem is critical to the industry. We hope to be part of the solution.”
The Yarok system currently allows for extremely fast detection and count of E.coli, Listeria Monocytogenes, Psychrotrophic bacteria and Pseudomonas. Initial clear results are available within 45 minutes with final accurate results provided within a production shift timeframe. Sierra: “What’s important is that results come in before the products go out.”
Utilizing conventional, affordable off-the-shelf laboratory equipment, the Yarok system is aimed for use in small, basic laboratories such as those found in food production facilities, as well as in professional labs serving the food industry.
Yarok’s currently available modules target the Vegetables and Dairy industries. Modules addressing other fresh food categories (seafood, eggs, meat) and other bacteria of interest are scheduled for development.
In addition, swabs for extremely fast detection of Listeria in the workplace environment are now in development.
The Food+City Challenge Prize is an annual international competition for business start-ups to encourage innovation in the urban food system. After three months of fielding hundreds of submissions from 9 different countries, Food+City selected 18 finalists to present their innovative solutions at the event, taking place in Austin Texas on February 3-4, 2017.
About Yarok Technology Transfer
Yarok Technology Transfer Ltd. is an innovation-based start-up that has developed a fast microbiological testing system for the fresh food industry to protect consumers and safeguard producer interests. The company is dedicated to bringing Israeli innovation to the Food and the Agriculture industries. Yarok is based in Jerusalem, Israel, with laboratory facilities near Tel Aviv. For more information, visit
Food+City is a catalyst for supply chain innovation to improve how we feed cities. F+C is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that takes action through storytelling (web and print) as well as an annual challenge prize. The Food+City Challenge Prize is the only international startup competition dedicated to innovation in the food supply chain. The organization connects entrepreneurs to the people and funding that can take their businesses to the next level. For more information on Food+City, visit