New research labs help food and beverage businesses stay fresh

November 12, 2014

NIAGARA-ON-THE-LAKE, ONT, November 11, 2014 — The official opening of four new laboratories took place on Tuesday at the Canadian Food & Wine Institute Innovation Centre at Niagara College, a research facility that aims to give a leg up to Canada’s food and beverage industry. 

The centre provides innovative solutions to problems faced by small- and medium-sized businesses in the industry, such as short shelf life and unpleasant taste. It offers these businesses a suite of services to produce, test and validate new food and beverage products for commercialization.

When Spirit Tree Estate Cidery in Caledon, Ont., needed to figure out how to maintain the colour of its popular crabapple blush cider, for example, the Innovation Centre looked at cider-making processes and tested various ingredients to determine their effects on colour stability. The project resulted in an improved recipe that allowed for prolonged shelf life of the product with its blush colour.

The Innovation Centre received more than $670,000 from the Canada Foundation for Innovation — along with additional support from various levels of government and the private sector — for specialized infrastructure that will be used for studies in microbiology and food chemistry, among others. These investments are allowing the centre to continue to position itself as a leader in food and beverage research that is helping to revitalize the economy in Southern Ontario, boost business productivity and competitiveness and help create new jobs.

Pierre Normand, Vice-President of External Relations and Communications at the CFI was joined at the ribbon cutting ceremony and reception by Niagara College staff, faculty, students and research associates; MP Rick Dykstra, MPP Jim Bradley, celebrity chef Vikram Vij and industry partners.