Capital Biotech is a French startup focused on food security and development of simple and quick non-diagnostic in vitro devices. But why are we talking about Capital Biotech? Well, the company founded one year ago publicly launched last October the “Halal Test”, a portable kit promising to help Muslims, who represent 23% of the global population.
This simple device simply aims to test food for the presence of pork, whose consumption is not permitted by dietary laws of the Muslim religion. Priced at €6.90 per unit, the “Halal test” detects pork-specific antigens and consists of a single strip which the consumer must put into a glass of warm water containing a food sample.
According to Abderrahmane Chaoui, co-founder of Capital Biotech, the test gives a reliable result within 10 minutes and is intended for consumers and food industry. As a result, the company had received pre-orders for 10,000 kits within 24 hours of “Halal test” launch. The enthusiasm around this kit has been huge, and Capital Biotech is already looking at several distribution partnerships, in more than 20 countries.
But what was the reason leading to the development of such product? The recent scandals of food contamination have alarmed and reduced confidence among Muslim consumers. In 2011, Halal-labelled poultry sausages were removed from supermarket shelves after tests revealing the presence of pork.
After this first success, the firm plans to launch soon a range of tests for food allergens (soy, egg, almonds) in ready meals. In a long-term, Capital Biotech plans to extend its testing to pharmaceutical products. Capital Biotech is a good example of how biotechnologies can help consumers in their daily life.