Lack of transparency within any food system takes a tremendous toll on individuals no matter where you live. Rich or poor, it affects everyone. Every day people are unwittingly being cheated nutritionally and financially as a result of food systems that we have become emotionally detached from and yet physically unable to escape.
Did You Know?
- A grocery store apple can be over a year old and has lost much of its original nutrition
- Fresh spinach loses almost all of its vitamin C within 7 days of harvest.
- Truffle oil typically does not contain actual truffles. Commercial truffle oils are created by mixing olive oil with a synthetic petroleum-based flavoring agent 2,4-dithiapentane.
Our mission is to fingerprint, decode and demystify food for everyone.
TeakOrigin tightly integrates analytical chemistry, optical spectroscopy, and deep/machine learning into lab-fidelity digital food fingerprints that can identify a unique food item, the nutrients that are in that particular food item and assess its quality/freshness. Our technology platform can be easily and quickly used by consumers and retailers to understand exactly what something is and its nutritional quality.
- Lead a new revolution in food trust and understanding.
- Develop a common language across many devices and systems that allows food to communicate directly to consumers.
- Enable the food supply chain to have the most positive impact on food trust and authenticity for consumers.
Questions We Set Out to Answer
- Can we see the nutritional content?
- What kinds of nutrition can we see?
Authentication / Adulteration
- Can I verify what it actually is?
- Can I see if toxic elements have been added?
Getting What You Paid For
- Is it consistent with its labeling?
- Does it contain something other than what I thought?
We consider food fraud to be any situation where a consumer is misled, either intentionally or unintentionally, about what their food is, what it contains, or if it is something other than what they would reasonably expect.
Meet the Team
Brent Overcash, CEO
As someone who has lived in many other parts of the world, Brent understands the difficulties that consumers face in truly understanding the food that they eat. Over the past decade he has envisioned a world where there are no nutritional labels, no brand messaging, no trickery – just food that can tell you exactly what it is and how good it is. During this time, he has focused on bringing together a wide spectrum of educational institutions, hi-tech companies and scientists to help build a world where everyone understands exactly what they are eating and can make their own, informed choices.
Brent is an avid bass player, cyclist and obsessive gadgeteer who brings a fervency for creative technologies that can help improve people’s lives.
Greg Shewmaker, Chief of Commercial Development
One day Greg asked the questions “what’s in my food?” and “what’s it doing to me/my family?” When the search for answers simply led to more questions, Greg decided to dedicate his life to understanding food and our food systems.
Greg was the Founder of Food+Future, a multi-year exploration into the future of food with Target, IDEO, MIT and Intel. He also started two other international companies and was the Chief Merchant at the #2 e-commerce company in the world.
His personal commitment to complete food transparency drives his efforts at TeakOrigin. Greg works with our partners around the globe to scale our efforts in ways that will help inform and enable better food decisions for everyone.
Dr. Ellen Miseo
Ellen V. Miseo holds a Ph. D in Physical Chemistry and concentrated on optical spectroscopy and instrument development. Her primary interest is in new applications of spectroscopic and imaging techniques. She has been involved in many instrument development programs that were the result of foreseeing customer trends and adapting the technology to support the trends. At TeakOrigin she has the opportunity to combine her interests in food and spectroscopy!
Dr. Miseo has been elected to a number of leadership positions within professional scientific societies related to spectroscopy including the Society for Applied Spectroscopy and the Coblentz Society.
Dr. Yagiz Sutcu
Yagiz was born in Izmir, Turkey and received his PhD degree in Electrical & Computer Engineering from NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering in June 2009. Today he heads up TeakOrigin’s Data Analytics team applying his interest in signal processing, machine learning, algorithm development and their application to real-world problems to help develop the common language of food for everyone.
He is also adjunct professor at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. Yagiz is passionate about soccer, loves to cook and to play guitar (although not at the same time!).
In her role as Senior Chemist, Felicity manages laboratory operations at TeakOrigin and is responsible for performing various food-specific analyses, with a focus on portable optical spectroscopy and gas chromatography–mass spectrometry. Felicity is passionate about pushing the boundaries of early stage technologies, and is excited to bring high-fidelity food analysis out of the lab and into the field.
Felicity is a member of the American Chemical Society, the (unofficial!) Boston-area Women in Engineering (WinE) group, and plays catcher for the Booze On First? Boston Ski and Sports Club softball team. She holds a B.S. in Chemistry and a B.S. in Physics from Simmons College.
James was drawn to TeakOrigin by the opportunity to combine his passions for food and science to promote a greater understanding of what we eat everyday. In addition to analyzing food samples via spectroscopy and wet chemistry, he heads up Liquid Chromatography in our Waltham lab. James is a chemical engineer with experience in software development and, prior to joining TeakOrigin, he spent a year in Barcelona conducting photocatalysis research. He holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University.
James is an avid traveler, foodie, and wine enthusiast.
An Analytical Chemist and Data Scientist at TeakOrigin, Dan is responsible for collecting spectrum and thermogravimetric analysis along with its data pre-processing, summing, and evaluation. By understanding the importance of relating chemical results with data models for a more impactful conclusion, he serves as the bridge between the Analytical Chemistry and Data Analytics teams. Dan joined the TeakOrigin team in order to pursue his passion in promoting transparency in the food industry. Dan holds a BA in Chemical Engineering from Northeastern University.
Additionally, Dan is an Engineer-in-Training at the MA Society of Professional Engineers and is a member of the Clinton Global University.