In 2003 whilst working overseas with the NRI, Ray Coker, ToxiMet’s founder, recognised that there was a clear need for an affordable, user-friendly and robust procedure enabling non-scientists to measure accurately and precisely food toxins, especially mycotoxins, throughout the global food supply chain.
ToxiMet was born as a University of Greenwich spin-out in August 2005 with £200k of grant funds to enable the development of the ToxiMet system. After initially working as a ‘one man band’ supported by a number of Non-Executive Directors, Ray was joined by three development chemists in mid-2009.
£2m funding from angel investors enabled the company to finalise and release a high precision prototype in early 2011. The prototype ToxiMet System comprised the ToxiQuant instrument and a disposable detection cartridge, backed by appropriate IP protection.
This system was tested by three potential customers, providing results that exceeded all expectations. ToxiMet recruited a team of 10 scientists to evolve the prototype into a commercial product, and in September 2011 ToxiMet outgrew the facilities at the University of Greenwich and moved to Kent Science Park, near Sittingbourne in Kent.
During 2012, with a new CEO on board, an intense first half of the year finalising the ToxiMet System, designing new branding materials, and recruiting a commercial team culminates with the global commercial launch of the product during the XXXI INC congress in Singapore.
The launch is a great success, with several instruments sold during the congress, and allowing ToxiMet to raise over £2m more to continue developing the ToxiQuant platform and speed up the international commercial expansion.
As the number of ToxiMet customer grows, our system starts receiving excellent feedback from our users, the technology is showcased in leading industry magazines, and we are recognised as the instrument of choice for measuring mycotoxins in the nut and dried fruit industry, with the INC Innovation Award 2013.
Our founder, Ray Coker, accepted the prize on behalf of the ToxiMet team, in front of the 1,100 attendees from 58 countries, realising the vision he had exactly ten years before and that had led him to found ToxiMet.
ToxiMet achieves a significant technological leap forward, introducing a new and improved ToxiQuant instrument, with the capability of simultaneous detection of Aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, G2, and Ochratoxin A in a single test. The new ToxiQuant Rapid also introduced many other innovations, and scale manufacturing allows to provide accurate, fully quantitative results at prices only before seen in screening methods.
A world where high quality food safety
is available and accessible to everyone
Ray graduated with a PhD in Natural Products Chemistry from City University, London. He is a Chartered Chemist and a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry. From University he joined the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) latterly as Professor of Food Safety in the Food Management and Marketing Group. Over 30 years he became involved with the international management of food and feed safety, specialising in the control of mycotoxins.
He has advised many major global organisations including the Food and Agricultural Organisation, USAID, the World Health Organisation and the EU during which time he led a variety of international, multidisciplinary projects. Ray is recognised as one of the world’s leading experts in his field.
Ray has contributed over one hundred articles to learned journals, books and other specialist publications as well as attending international conferences in Europe, Asia, Africa and South America as an invited lecturer. He has eight granted patents or patent pending.
It was whilst he was working overseas for the NRI that Ray became aware of the need, and a gap in the market, for a simple but accurate method for measuring mycotoxins that could be used every day by people who were not trained scientists.
Ray is now Emeritus Professor of Food Safety at the University of Greenwich and Founder of ToxiMet Limited.