Farther Farms awarded NSF funding for fruit and vegetable preservation technology
Farther Farms, Inc. is excited to announce it has been awarded a $225,000 Phase 1 Small Business Technology Transfer grant from the National Science Foundation to continue researching a new process for extending the shelf life of fresh-cut fruits and vegetables without the use of chemicals, artificial preservatives, refrigeration, or freezing. Farther Farms will use the Phase 1 grant to further develop its technology and determine the range of fruit and vegetable applications.
“We are thrilled to partner with the NSF,” said Farther Farms’ CEO Mike Annunziata. “America’s Seed Fund is the largest group of technology startups in the country. To be selected is an honor and a strong endorsement of our team, the novelty of our early technical work, and its potential for commercialization.”
Farther Farms was founded in 2016 by two Cornell University students, Mike Annunziata, MBA ’17 and Vipul Saran, MPS ’16. Saran conducted the foundational research in the University’s Department of Food Science. He and Annunziata then formalized a business plan through Cornell’s eLab program and are currently growing the company as members of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works. Farther Farms is finalizing plans to conduct grant research at a new laboratory at the Eastman Business Park in Rochester, NY. The park has been lauded as a key strategic asset by the New York State Economic Development Council and has ample resources to support the development of nascent technologies. Cornell University will serve as the sponsoring research institution, conducting synergistic research within its Department of Food Science.
“The process we have developed could become the next generation of ubiquitous shelf life extension technologies,” said Dr. Syed Rizvi, esteem professor of Food Process Engineering at Cornell University. “Such a breakthrough could be a major contributor to solving food system problems worldwide.”
NSF funding is intended to help small businesses transform promising high-impact technologies into marketable products and services. “Receipt of this grant allows us to continue to build upon our successful Fall 2017 seed fundraising round, creating value for our existing investor base and maintaining the rapid pace of our research, development, and IP generation,” said Saran, Farther Farms’ CTO.
Zach Koff, BS ’02, COO of Shake Shack and advisor to Farther Farms, has extensive experience balancing the logistics of food service operations with consumer desires. “Today, in the food service industry, customers expect sustainable, healthy, clean-label options,” said Koff. “Current sourcing solutions are often predisposed to tradeoffs between cold storage energy costs, taste, and nutritional quality. Farther Farms’ approach is a paradigm shift for food processing, and a game changer for how restaurant operators can fulfill the needs of their diners.”
For inquiries and more information, please contact Farther Farms at [email protected].