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ITHACA, NY -- Farther Farms is a food tech startup founded by Vipul Saran and Mike Annunziata that uses innovative technology created at Cornell for a new means of food processing.     

Vipul Saran and Mike Annunziata, 2017 Cornell graduates, created Farther Farms in 2017 when they were working in Cornell’s Elab, a Cornell startup program. What Farther Farms and Cornell’s new technology does is process perishable foods, such a french fries, with freezing and refrigeration. Essentially, it’s a sterilization technology that produces shelf-stable foods.

Cornell’s Center for Technology Licensing (CTL) licensed this new technology to Farther Farms to further this new means of food production. Farther Farms believes this new way of food production is the next step in food transformation. 

Diane Schmitt is the Food Safety and Regulatory Manager at Farther Farms located in Rochester, New York. Schmitt is responsible for the food safety and quality department which means ensuring every bag that goes out to customers is safe and consumable.  

“We make quality food acceptable everywhere,” Schmitt said, “We are able to have the potential to extend products such as our shelf-stable french fries that started going into new markets where french fries aren’t usually consumed because there isn’t a frozen supply chain.” 

Farther Farms plans to extend their business beyond the United States and bring their business more international. 

“We are pretty open to the possibilities right now,” Schmitt said. 

Syed Rizvi is a professor of food science in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Cornell and was an advisor to Saran at the university. 

Rizvi inspired this new means of technology and suggested the topic to Saran. Rizvi thought it would be a great way to use this technology as a business plan and that’s exactly what Rizvi and Saran did.  

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Farther Farms French fries cooking at Luna. February 18, 2021. Ithaca, N.Y.

“At that point when we started it [Cornell’s technology], we didn’t know that it would lead to a company,” Rizvi said.  

The product has been sampled globally, and this technology can be useful in countries where there is a working, cold supply chain or for countries that suffer a loss of fruits and vegetables because they lack a cold supply chain.

Syed said that this technology should be incorporated in and outside of the United States because it is environmentally helpful. 

“I think it should be used everywhere,” Syed said.

As of now, Farther Farms fries are being sold at Luna Inspired Street Food in Ithaca, The Hideaway and Radio Social in Rochester, and Endico Potatoes in the New York City Metro area. 

Farther Farms is in the works of expanding outside of these areas, but as of now individuals can only try these new innovative fries while dining in New York. 

There are other products that this technology works well with, such as fruits and vegetables, and Schmitt said that the fries are only the beginning to this new means of food technology.  

“We’re always working on our products,” Schmitt said, “Right now, we are working very diligently on extending the shelf-life of our state product.”

Schmitt said Farther Farms is currently planning on expanding and that several works are in the process.  

“[Farther Farms] has a great sense of empowerment here for what’s in the company and how we try to bring value to our customers and our supply chain,” Schmitt said. 

Farther Farms strives to use this technology as the next step in food production because the cold chain is expensive and limited globally. 

Rizvi agrees that Farther Farms will continue to expand and help the food chain internationally.    

“I believe this is a novel technology in the right direction,” Rizvi said. “I think this technology will be used in the future.”

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