Where are the Ripest Apples?
Strella is developing a biosensor that can predict the maturity of virtually any fresh fruit. Our sensors are installed in controlled atmosphere storage rooms, monitoring apples as they ripen. That way, packers and distributors know where the ripest apples are for their customers, thus minimizing spoilage and quality downgrade costs.
- 22% of all produce is wasted in distribution along the food supply chain
- This results in $1.2B in produce losses in the U.S annually
We minimize food waste and maximize produce margins
Packers Lack Data
Controlled atmosphere (CA) storage rooms are sealed most of the season, and cannot be efficiently monitored via inspection.
We mimic natural mechanisms found in fruits to monitor fruit ripeness by measuring ethylene gas. This allows us to match the gold standard of precision with ease-of-use and affordability.
The Strella Solution
We offer a novel sensing technology that allows for easy decision making. Strella's biosensor, coupled with a user-friendly UI, allows packers to tell where their under-ripe, maturing, and readiest CA storage rooms are.
Our current market is U.S apple packers and distributors, which represent a $4B produce industry. However, since our technology can be applied to a variety of different fruits, we are working to expand to other markets, such as bananas and pears.
Katherine SizovFounder, CEO
Reginald LamauteVP Technical Strategy
Zuyang LiuVP Engineering
Malika ShukurovaVP R&D Lead
Latest news about Strella
Sizov's startup was one of five finalists that presented in the final round of the ASU Innovation Open at Arizona State University on Feb. 1. Sizov's company created a sensor that measures the ripeness of apples through detection of their ethylene gas production.
Strella Biotechnology, based in Philadelphia, was the grand prize winner with its sensors that measure fruit ripeness by calculating ethylene gas production to reduce food waste and increase fruit quality for packers and distributors.
The team, led by Katherine Sizov from University of Pennsylvania, demonstrated its biosensing platforms that measure fruit ripeness by calculating ethylene gas production. This provides actionable data to packers and distributors to reduce food waste and increase fruit quality. The technology is already in use by apple packers in Washington and Pennsylvania.
Strella Biotech has developed a gas chromatography biosensor that can predict the maturity of virtually any fresh fruit. The sensors utilize the same mechanism that fruits use to sense and signal ripeness, combined with an electronic output. They can be installed in controlled atmosphere storage rooms to monitor apples as they ripen, supporting packers and distributors in identifying the location of their ripest and readiest apples. This improved sensing not only minimizes spoilage and quality downgrade costs, but also helps reduces food waste.
Senior molecular biology major Katherine Sizov won the judges over with her fruit biosensor company Strella Biotech.
In front of a packed auditorium with hundreds of students, professors, and investors in the Wharton School’s Jon M. Huntsman Hall, Penn senior Katherine Sizov gave her pitch for startup Strella Biotech—a fruit biosensor company she founded last year. The opportunity was all thanks to Gimlet Media’s traveling podcast “The Pitch.”
The social impact of Strella is quite significant. In the words of Strella’s founder, Katherine, Strella aims to “reduce global food waste from the supply chain.” The company addresses three of the UN’s sustainable development goals. The first, zero hunger, is met with Strella’s attempt to optimize the supply chain, so “we can use less arable land for agriculture and as a result use it to increase [the] biodiversity of our planet or increase the living conditions of humans.” The second goal, responsible consumption and production, is met through Strella’s model, which encourages consumers to be more responsible and aware in the process of purchasing their food.
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