The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) has announced that it is making an investment of over $1.1 million in grants to 11 U.S. small businesses to address emerging food safety, food processing, and nutrition issues.

Some of the 11 projects awarded through the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Program’s Food Science and Nutrition priority area include:

  • Jun Innovations, Inc., Honolulu, Hawaii, will develop a proprietary, supercooling technology to preserve perishable probiotic products without cell damage and with extended shelf life ($100,000).
  • Stixfresh USA, Inc., of Tumwater, Washington, will test essential-oil based formulas to determine their effectiveness as a safe and natural way to suppress microbial spoilage of fresh fruit ($97,697).
  • Paragon Flavors, Inc., Belle Mead, New Jersey, will assess the viability of sprouting whole-grain rice to create nutritionally dense, sustainably enhanced, consumer-friendly food ingredients for packaged food products ($99,414).

SBIR encourages participation by women-owned and socially or economically disadvantaged small businesses. The next Phase 1 request for SBIR applications is scheduled to open in July 2021, with a deadline in October 2021.