Winners of the International Award 2017


Yarok: Fast, Accurate Food Safety Testing System for DC Produce Exporters

Country: Israel
Nationalities of the proponent and the partners: Ukraine and Italy
Yarok is an innovation-based start-up that has developed a fast microbiological testing system for the fresh food industry to protect consumers and safeguard producer interests. Clear, high-resolution results are provided in 45 minutes; final assessment within a few hours (time according to the pathogen to be detected). A customization of the testing system and its implementation in Developing Countries open ways to improve a local population’s health by improving food safety, and better the DC’s agro-food producers’ chances of accessing international markets. THE PROBLEM: The possible presence in food products of pathogenic bacteria (E.coli, Listeria, Salmonella, etc.) are among the most dangerous threats to consumer health and the entire food industry. THE SOLUTION: Yarok fast testing System is aimed at fresh food producers of all sizes, and at professional laboratories. It is based on a kit, to be used with conventional, affordable off-the-shelf laboratory equipment. In Jan. 2017, the System was validated following FDA and EP standards for validation of new testing methods. The System opens the possibility for DC exporters to fast-test fresh produce and attest to importers the absence of dangerous bacteria in fruits and vegetables, without compromising on freshness requirements.
Project web-page:

Coffee Flour

Country: USA
Nationalities of the proponent and the partners: USA, Canada
Coffee Flour is made from the previously discarded pulp and skin of the coffee cherry. Once dried and milled, it creates a nutritionally-dense flour that can reduce the environmental damage created through the build-up of excess pulp on coffee farms, generate economic value to smallholder farmers and millers, and bridge dietary gaps in micronutrients for nutritionally vulnerable populations. The product is now being incorporated into chocolate, bakery, and beverage products around the globe, while also transforming coffee-growing communities. The proponents have also structured a business model that enhances incomes in coffee-producing communities. They share in the downstream value created by the pulp, improving smallholder incomes by 10-20%, as well as create jobs to manage drying, cleaning, and shipping logistics at the local mills. Additionally, Coffee Flour is high in fiber, micronutrients (calcium, iron, potassium, and Vitamin A), and antioxidants. As an ingredient, it improves the nutritional profile of the foods into which it is integrated, including locally available foods. Its nutritional impact is further compounded through the increases in income, which enable more diverse diets for the family.

Project web-page:


Country: USA
Nationalities of the proponent and the partners: USA
Evaptainers, mobile and modular evaporative coolers, are the world’s first mobile “zero-energy” refrigeration systems (cooling systems that require no external electricity) that are ideal for low-income,
off-grid areas. Evaporative cooling as a technique has been employed successfully for centuries. Proven to be effective for cooling at the point of production, these devices have been known to triple or quadruple the shelf-life of most produce. This technology allows for cooling the internal storage space by 15-20 degrees Celsius from ambient conditions. Using state-of-the art materials and improved design, the proponents have created a more effective and scalable clean energy refrigeration solution, enabling the cold chain to reach farther than ever before.

Project web-page:

WOMEN Category

BiocopacPlus – Sustainable bio-based coating from tomato processing by-products for food metal packaging

Country: Italy
Nationalities of the proponent and the partners: Italy
The innovation consists in a BPA-free, natural paint, to be used for packaging coatings in place of conventional paints derived from petroleum. The aim of the project is the realization of a pilot plant for the extraction of cutin from the industrial wastes of tomatos, the source material for the production of the natural paint. Therefore, the industrial byproducts of tomatoes are fully exploited: the skins, for example, after the cutin extraction are used in the production of biogas. The natural paint is characterized by significant adhesion and corrosion resistance, comparable to conventional paints derived from petroleum.

Project web-page:

UNDER 35 Category


Country: Italy
Nationalities of the proponent and the partners: Italy, UK, Spain
DEMETRA is a natural, post-harvest treatment for fruit preservation, to prevent food waste and extend the shelf life of fresh products. The active substance of DEMETRA is a molecule that inhibits fruit ripening, enhances the fruit’s resistance to pathogens and stresses, and preserves the overall qualities (texture, aroma, colour, acidity, sugar and vitamin content, etc.) of the freshly harvested fruit. The action of this active substance is empowered through the addition of a selected mixture of plant extracts with antimicrobial and antioxidant activity, witch exert a direct protection against rot and browning of the fruit. DEMETRA is 100% natural, composed solely by selected plant extract, and therefore safe for humans and for the environment. Furthermore, thanks to its modular composition and its simplicity of use, DEMETRA is an extremely versatile solution, which can be adopted at any stage of the fruit production chain and on any scale. It can be applied on large amounts at the industrial production step, in cargoes for distribution, on market shelves, and on the domestic fruit basket.
Project web-page:

Mention of Honor


Country: Italy, UAE
Nationalities of the proponent and the partners: Italy, UAE, Jordan
ELECTRAP, based on a patented electromagnetic diffusion system of semiochemical signals and already widely tested by the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Agriculture, under the FAO supervision, is a mass capture system that:

  • acts on all kinds of Red Palm Weevil (Rhynchophorus Ferrugineus and Rhynchophorus Palmarium) that infest and destroy hundreds of thousands of date, coconut, oil and decorative palms in NAME, Asia, Africa and the Americas causing huge damages;
  • it does not require any maintenance or addition of water or other for at least 6 months, which results in a significant compression of management costs and a very easy implementation and use

Project web-page:


Country: Pakistan
Nationalities of the proponent and the partners: Pakistan, USA
There is a $4.7 Billion gap between agricultural credit demand and supply in Pakistan and a $400 Billion gap on a global scale. Ricult, using psychometric analytics, credit scoring Algorithms, weather and crop data, provides small holder farmers with the tools they need to work their way out of poverty. Ricult is an award winning US based startup out of MIT

Under the patronage of

With the support of