Food safety technology being developed in Waterloo received a CDN$3.1 million boost Tuesday with P&P Optica’s announcement of a successful fundraising round from Fulcrum Global Capital of Kansas City, MO.

P&P Optica specializes in scanning equipment capable of analyzing food as it’s moving down the production line. The deal with Fulcrum will allow P&P Optica to accelerate deployment of its smart imaging system, which uses chemical imaging and machine learning to detect foreign object contamination.

“For food producers there is simply nothing more important than ensuring the safety and quality of the product their customers eat,” said Olga Pawluczyk, CEO of P&P Optica. “That is why PPO has worked diligently on this technology which we are excited to bring to the market.”

Fulcrum invests in companies that address the challenges facing the global food system as a result of rapid population growth.

“Food safety is an increasingly important part of the global food production industry and current technology practices result in tremendous waste within the industry,” said Fulcrum CFO and Partner Kevin Lockett. “We believe PPO’s technology and approach has the potential to solve these issues for global food producers and are excited to be a part of a team that will both make food safer and reduce needless waste.”

Pawluczyk was a guest speaker last month at Communitech’s popular Pizza with the Prez series, where she described the 18-year evolution of her company from one that previously conducted oil analysis for western Canadian petroleum producers to one that now focuses on food safety. She stated at that time the company was in the final stages of a fundraising round.

The company, she said at that time, has 25 employees and is aiming to increase that figure to 30 within the next few months.