Brian Coburn, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for the Canadian province of Ontario, has announced an investment programme of C$646,000 to develop drying systems to manufacture new nutraceutical and functional food products from various crops.
Energy- and cost-efficient drying systems will be developed to produce powders and extracts from crops like garlic, organic sprouts, blueberries, cranberries and strawberries. Project partners will test the products for healthy compounds, and determine their business and market potential, the minister said.
"Investing in innovative ways to add value to Ontario agricultural crops has the potential to really pay off over the long term - in increased sales, investments and jobs," Coburn said. "The global and domestic markets for products like these are growing at an amazing pace, and I'm pleased that our industry partners are showing confidence in the province by making this commitment."
The province is investing C$253,000 in the project, with the remaining costs covered by a number of partner companies. "This programme has encouraged a partnership of diverse industries and is a catalyst for innovative technologies, offering companies a unique opportunity to combine their individual strengths to develop new equipment and products," said William G. Brown, president of Nutrasur Canada, one of the partner firms.