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North Carolina to See Greener Food Product Manufacturing
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February 27, 2013

North Carolina to See Greener Food Product Manufacturing

By Colleen Lynch
TMCnet Contributor

Fruit and vegetable processor Aseptia is one of the greenest tech companies in its field, and now it’s about to share its green on a wider scale, and to many more consumers. The company has secured $6M in its third round of venture funding, which will be used to expand Aseptia’s manufacturing capabilities.

The company’s patented technology was developed at North Carolina State University, and works to enable the production of shelf-stable food products that maintain flavors and nutrients longer than they would normally, without preservatives.

This last contribution to its funding drive came from SJF Ventures, which offers investments only to companies using or developing environmental or “green” technology. Investments made prior to this last round include those from environmentally-minded individuals and members of Aseptia’s management.

David Griest, director at SJF Ventures, describes Aseptia’s technology as “the cutting edge of sustainable food processing,” and adds “the technology has the potential to replace most every canned product with the equivalent of fresh foods and in a superior packaging form.”

Aseptia operates under the name Wright Foods for its manufacturing plant that opened in August of 2012, although the company has been hard at work since its inception in 2006.

“Aseptia has achieved commercial scale production, allowing major food companies to both improve existing products and launch entirely new categories,” Griest continued, citing this as one of the many reasons his company decided to invest.

In the funding announcement, which was held Wednesday, the company noted that the shelf life that can be achieved with Aseptia is over 12 months—this has previously been impossible without preservatives, at least for the products Aseptia is involved with. These include fruit sauces, tomato products, vegetables, soups and assorted beverages.

The technology also allows these products to retain their flavor, color and nutrients without refrigeration—another first.

Aseptia started this project with no funding, but qualified for a $150,000 grant from the One North Carolina Fund, which it could only receive if the company met job and investment targets, which the company in fact did. The products of Aseptia’s hard work have now earned it an additional $6M and will help make the food manufacturing industry significantly greener—a small step, but an exciting one.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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