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Startup of the Week: Uvera - Revolutionizing Food Safety, Putting an End to Food Waste

Uvera’s chemical-free solution uses a specific ultraviolet (UV) light to sterilize food, destroy different types of bacteria, viruses and pathogens that cause spoilage. (Shutterstock)

Who hasn’t been obsessed with cleaning/ disinfecting products including food produce since the pandemic was unleashed in the entire world? I think it’s safe to assume we’re all in the same boat. And today, on World Food Safety Day, we’d like to shed the lights on the aspiring Saudi startup, Uvera, who not only tackles the food safety issue, but also aims to reduce food waste using new technologies, IoT and AI.

Although this year’s theme is ‘Safe food today for a healthy tomorrow’, it seems that this has already been Asrar Damdam’s blueprint when she set up Uvera back in 2019. After going through UN’s shocking statistics related to food waste and foodborne diseases, Damdam decided to put an end to these issues that are severely destructive on social, environmental and economical levels. She realized that the main challenge isn’t the lack of resources and nutrients in the world. Because although there is still hunger in various parts of the world, over 33% of global food is being wasted. In addition, food waste is responsible for over 10% of all greenhouse gases emissions and as a result contributing to global warming that has been costing businesses and individuals over 1 trillion dollars annually.

So having all this in mind, and armed with her knowledge and expertise, Damdam decided to find an innovative and technical solution that would help halve food waste by 2030. And this is when Uvera saw the light in June 2019.

The thriving biotech startup’s chemical-free solution uses a specific ultraviolet (UV) light that extends the shelf-life of different types of food such as fresh produce, meat, chicken and bread. In addition, it sterilizes food, destroys different types of bacteria, viruses and pathogens that cause spoilage. It’s worth mentioning that the noble startup owns intellectual property rights to its technology, which has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). And in March 2021, Uvera won Taqadam’s investors choice award of $100,000 zero-equity funding after being evaluated by over 30 investors in.

It’s safe to say that Uvera’s mission and vision are not only aligned with the Saudi Vision 2030, but it is also aligned with the UN sustainable development goals; responsible consumption and production, climate action, and zero hunger.

by Rim ElChami

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