The business, based in Trinity College, helps global retailers reduce food waste using oxygen sensing technology that can be printed into food packaging. Senoptica was founded in 2018 by Steve Comby, Rachel Evans and Brendan Rice as a spinout from the university and currently has four staff.

“We’ve been focused on scaling the technology, meeting the regulatory requirements and building up the customer development side. With the technology, the sensor is formed from a food safe ink. It senses the oxygen, this can be read with a handheld device and the colour tells us the oxygen content,” Rice said.

All of that research and business development is about to bear fruit as the company expects to get regulatory approval for its technology later this year.

“We’ve taken it out of the lab and we’re printing at industrial scale, we’ve printed about 30km of packaging to date. We expect to have the first part of the regulatory approval later this year,” Rice said.

“We’re talking to a lot of food companies and retailers about the technology. We’re in a pilot with a well-known retailer and a major food company based across both the UK and Ireland. That will be ongoing over the course of this year.”

Senoptica already has plans in place to scale rapidly with Ireland and Britain being used as the markets to prove the viability of the product before entering other markets.

“We plan to start in the UK and Ireland, then push out across Europe and into North America. We already have a technical partner in Canada,” said Rice.

“It’s effectively a skeleton staff at the moment. Once we have regulatory approval and complete the pilot, we aim to add another six people and double to 20 people by the middle of 2024.”

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