Enhancing the safety of food and
agricultural products around
the world in conjunction with
Wheatsheaf Investments Limited

Improving Food Safety through
Science and Technology

The world’s food supply faces increasing demands as the population grows and resources become more constrained. Wheatsheaf develops and invests in businesses that seek to enhance resource efficiency through innovative solutions. Our goal of developing technologies to promote food safety makes Origin and Wheatsheaf a natural partnership.

Wheatsheaf was founded in 2012 by The Grosvenor Estate, the representative of the Grosvenor Family’s business activities.


Meeting the challenge of a growing population and shrinking resources

The world’s population is projected to grow from 7 to 9 billion by 2050.1 The more people, the more food is needed, yet the increased need for living space shrinks the land available for agriculture. This contradiction is driving increased industrialization of agriculture due to the need for efficiency. As industrial agribusiness grows, the world’s ability to control pathogens in the food chain is deteriorating. This is the biggest threat to our food supply and the largest single cause of loss in industrial agriculture.

  • Disease and pathogens are the primary cause of reduced agricultural productivity
  • Known pathogens are becoming resistant to current technologies
  • New pathogens are emerging
  • Some preventative measures—like the use of antibiotics in animal production—are becoming more highly regulated and/or being rejected by consumers
  • There is an increasing desire for organic foods

Origin is exploring how to use its patented plasma-stream technologies to provide customized scalable solutions to large industrial agricultural producers. Origin’s highly targeted solutions address key pathogen entry-points without the use of toxic systemic chemicals that can remain in the food or water supply. Numerous opportunities for improvement exist in:

Animal Health


  • Mastitis
    — Affects over 15% of the 9 million dairy cows in the US2 and 47%-71%3 of the 23 million dairy cows in the EU4
  • Digital dermatitis
    — Is highly contagious, has no vaccine, and has up to 80% recurrence.5 Average cost per cow per year in US - $1334
  • Waste treatment
    — 80 lbs of fecal matter is produced per day, per animal and must be decontaminated.7 Wastewater and bedding must also
         be sanitized


  • Feedstock decontamination
    — Infected grain is a major entry-point for pathogens into the food-chain
  • Atmosphere processing
    — Preventing incoming airborne pathogens in close-quarter poultry farms and deodorizing outbound air released to the
         atmosphere is critical
  • Biosecurity control
  • Carcass decontamination
    — Current strategies involve the use of chlorine and other potential carcinogens
  • Hatchery decontamination
    — Current approach uses detergents, which are frequently ineffective, and formaldehyde, which is carcinogenic


  • Feedstock decontamination
  • Atmosphere processing needs are similar to poultry
  • Wastewater processing needs are similar to bovine
  • Carcass decontamination

Food Production

  • Grain processing
  • Transportation decontamination
  • Facility sterilization


  • Breeding-environment water must be decontaminated


  • Grain processing
  • Plant bioload reduction
  • Water processing


References: 1. United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs. World population projected to reach 9.6 billion by 2050. 2013. http://www.un.org/en/development/desa/news/population/un-report-world-population-projected-to-reach-9-6-billion-by-2050.html. Accessed March 15, 2016. 2. Sechen SJ. Bovine somatotropin (bST) – Possible increased use of antibiotics to treat mastitis in cows. Report submitted at: 78th meeting on residues of veterinary drugs by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee (JECFA) on Food Additives, November 5-14, 2013. 3. IFAH Europe. The animal health industry’s contribution to the reduction of bovine mastitis and maintenance of high quality milk products factsheet. 2013. 4. AHDB Dairy. EU cow numbers. http://dairy.ahdb.org.uk/market-information/farming-data/cow-numbers/eu-cow-numbers/#.VuMYS4wrJhC. Accessed March 15, 2016. 5. University of Pennsylvania Veterinary Medicine. Digital dermatitis. http://research.vet.upenn.edu/Dairy/Lameness/InfectiousDisease/DigitalDermatitis/tabid/3872/Default.aspx. Accessed March 15, 2016. 6. Cha E, Hertl JA, Bar D, Grohn YT. The cost of different types of lameness in dairy cows calculated by dynamic programming. Prev Vet Med. 2010 Oct 1;97(1):1-8. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20801533. Accessed March 15, 2016. 7. United States Department of Agriculture. Animal manure management. 1995. http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/portal/nrcs/detail/national/technical/?cid=nrcs143_014211. Accessed March 15, 2016.