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Canadian dairy startup wins $1m in international tech competition

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

SomaDetect measures raw milk compounds allowing farmers to identify issues early, and reduce unnecessary antibiotic usage. ©GettyImages/JESP62
SomaDetect measures raw milk compounds allowing farmers to identify issues early, and reduce unnecessary antibiotic usage. ©GettyImages/JESP62
SomaDetect, a Canadian artificial intelligence company that allows dairy farmers to monitor milk quality and cow health in real time, has received $1m to establish an incubator development space in Buffalo, New York.

The $1m prize was awarded through the New York-sponsored 43North startup competition and the company will also receive free incubator space in Buffalo (where it must operate for at least one year) and strategic guidance from mentors in related fields.

SomaDetect’s technology began with detection of somatic cell counts and fat content in raw milk and the company has now developed new methods to detect the presence of progesterone, protein, fat, trace antibiotics and somatic cell counts in raw milk without the need for reagents or consumables.

These new developments will allow farmers to monitor the reproductive status and health of their herd, and manage illness while producing the safe drinking milk free from antibiotics for consumers, the company said.

“Our development provides reassurance to farmers that when issues arise, they will know about it. The development reduces the penalty to dairy farmers and acts as part of their on-farm quality assurance program,” ​SomaDetect CEO, Bethany Deshpande, said.

The company has piloted the technology on dairy farms in New Brunswick, Canada, and is able to provide farmers with real-time, automated analysis of milk quality.

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