ImpactAlpha, June 10 – Massachusetts-based Clean Crop is tackling post-harvest food waste with a chemical-free treatment that kills molds and toxins common to grains and nuts.
Carcinogenic aflatoxins, caused by soil-based molds, affect as much as 40% of nut and grain harvests worldwide, Clean Crop’s Dan White told ImpactAlpha. The startup uses ionized gasses, produced by electrically-charging ambient air, to safely eliminate aflatoxins post-harvest.
Clean Crop is focusing first on peanuts, where harvests with low-levels of aflatoxins can command premium prices. In emerging markets, that could amount to hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenue for growers.
“Many new agtech innovations focus on on-farm challenges,” said White. “The low hanging fruit is all in the supply chain.”
Early-stage climate tech investor Prime committed $1.6 million in its first agtech investment. Factor[e] Ventures, Innova Memphis, Syndicate Fund and Alchemy Fund also participated. Prime’s Amy Duffor said that by boosting food safety and preventing food waste, the technology has the potential to “drastically reduce emissions in one of the largest greenhouse gas wedges.”