I.Q. [Innovation Quotient] award
Innovation: Microbial solutions
Executives at Wauwatosa-based Agro-BioSciences like to think big, but on a small scale – as in, microbial.
The company uses the latest advancements in molecular biology to identify the microbial elements of food and then uses that information to advance three divisions of the company: human probiotics and wellness; bio-protection; and agriculture.
According to Tom Rehberger, president of Agro-BioSciences, the company is currently working on research that identifies microbial properties of antioxidant-rich foods and determines which bacteria need to be present in the body to fully take advantage of those antioxidants.
“We’ve all been taught how beneficial antioxidants are, and yet only 20 percent of people can fully bio-transform any one of these molecules,” Rehberger said.
Agro-Biosciences hopes to be able to feed an individual the right bacteria to help that person obtain the full value of those antioxidants.
This research is the first of many platforms being developed, Rehberger said. With several phases of clinical trials ahead for the company, he doesn’t expect the market will see these products before 2018.
Even in its infancy, Agro-Biosciences is already a success within the agricultural livestock industry.
The company can provide a better understanding of an operation’s flock or herd, identifying which microorganisms are hurting or enhancing production. It can also create custom solutions for an operation and work with food producers to create better tasting, healthier and safer food options for livestock.
Approximately 10 to 15 percent of producers in the broiler industry and 50 to 55 percent of producers in the turkey industry are currently using Agro-BioSciences microbial products.
Additionally, Agro Biosciences Inc. is working to identify naturally occurring and specific bacteria that could prolong or maintain the shelf life of foods.