Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions

Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions

June 04, 2012 13:32 ET

Alberta Innovates Announces Millions in Quality Food for Health Grants

Diverse range of research targets better food to boost health

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - June 4, 2012) - Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, along with seven other funding partners, is announcing funding for 13 research projects focused on using the power of science towards better food and better health. "This unique 5 million dollar program aims to stimulate new and healthier food, innovative food processing, and new ways of encouraging healthier food consumption by Albertans," says Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions CEO Stan Blade, PhD. "This program is an outstanding example of the Alberta Innovates system in action."

The Quality Food for Health Research and Innovation Program, an initiative led by Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions, brings together the following pan-Alberta partners: Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions, Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency, Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund, Alberta Pulse Growers Commission, Alberta Canola Producers Commission, Alberta Milk, and Egg Farmers of Alberta.

"The research projects we are investing in are wonderfully diverse - from studying pulses and their impact on weight and cholesterol, to understanding how food marketing affects our children," says Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions CEO Jacques Magnan, PhD. "The projects' goals are ambitious: to improve food quality, equip Alberta producers with valuable details on their products, and enhance human health."

One of the projects announced today is being led by David Wishart, PhD, a professor of biological sciences and computing science at the University of Alberta. His team has been awarded a half million dollars for the next three years to analyse the micronutrients in Alberta cereal crops, pulses, beef, vegetables, fruit, and poultry. "We will create the Alberta Food Composition Database including more than 70 Alberta foods. The end result will be the most comprehensive food analysis in the world," says Wishart.

"It is our pleasure to team up with Alberta Innovates to fund this exceptional research into the micronutrients of Alberta foods," says Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency CEO Gordon Cove. "Dr. Wishart's team will provide us with in-depth analysis of the sugars, vitamins, and fatty acids that are present in Alberta-grown foods. This information will give us a significant competitive advantage to market our products here at home, and on the international stage."

The Alberta Food Composition Database will be accessible to Alberta consumers, physicians, dieticians, food producers, manufacturers, food testing agencies, crop growers and the livestock industry on a dedicated website built by the Wishart team. The database will provide key information on compounds that are not routinely measured but may have significant health impacts. This information will be incorporated into consumer-friendly "food factsheets" to help Albertans make better food choices to optimize their health.

For more information on the 13 Alberta Innovates Quality Food for Health Research and Innovation projects, visit

A video news release featuring the Wishart team, and the Alberta Innovates CEOs is available at

Projects funded by Alberta Innovates Quality Food for Health grants

The Alberta Innovates Quality Food for Health program brings together the agricultural and health communities in a unique initiative. Representing almost $12 million in total project costs, the following 13 projects will receive more than $5 million from industry and from these eight public funding partners over 2012-15: Alberta Innovates Bio Solutions (AI Bio), Alberta Innovates - Health Solutions (AIHS), Alberta Livestock and Meat Agency (ALMA), Alberta Crop Industry Development Fund (ACIDF), Alberta Pulse Growers Commission (APGC), Alberta Canola Producers Commission (ACPC), Alberta Milk (AM), and Egg Farmers of Alberta (EFA).

Project Description Principal Investigator
Total Project
Public Partner
Funding (* lead)
Beans, peas, lentils, chickpeas and reduced cholesterol Dr. Rhonda Bell
University of Alberta
$ 1,313,658 $

258,944 AI Bio*
225,000 APGC
Salt substitute in processed meats and foods, and decreased heart disease Dr. Mirko Betti
University of Alberta
$ 453,375 $
167,325 ALMA*
167,325 AI Bio
Milk protein and its beneficial effect on weight loss, diabetes and heart health Dr. Prasanth Chelikani
University of Calgary
$ 474,093 $
200,000 ALMA*
100,000 AI Bio
6,605 AM
Gel capsules from canola, beans or peas, and improved nutraceuticals Dr. Lingyun Chen
University of Alberta
$ 594,425 $

149,500 ACIDF*
149,500 AI Bio
Choline nutrient from eggs, meat and dairy, and healthier pregnancy Dr. Jonathan M. Curtis
University of Alberta
$ 918,675 $
335,600 ALMA*
137,550 AI Bio
24,900 EFA
Personalized dietary therapies for treating inflammatory bowel disease Dr. Leo Dieleman
University of Calgary
$ 982,052 $
135,000 ALMA*
135,000 AI Bio
70,000 ACPC
7,000 AM
5,000 EFA
Vegetable products with extended shelf-life and increased nutrition Dr. Darcy Driedger
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
$ 274,488 $
77,450 ACIDF*
77,450 AI Bio
Media and nutrition literacy and improved children's perceptions of healthy foods Dr. Charlene Elliott
University of Calgary
$ 126,100 $
45,050 ALMA*
45,050 AIHS
Reduced beany flavour in pea flour, and improved taste and nutrition Dr. Jay Han
Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
$ 611,580 $

135,980 AI Bio*
110,000 APGC
110,000 ACIDF
Dietary fibre and improved gut health Dr. Perry Lidster
Advanced Food and Materials Network
$ 1,858,333 $ 375,000 AI Bio*
Beans, peas and increased weight loss and blood sugar control Dr. Raylene Reimer
University of Calgary
$ 481,400 $

172,950 AI Bio*
172,950 AIHS
75,000 APGC
Canola oil and improved heart health Dr. Carla Taylor
Canadian Centre for Agri-food Research in Health and Medicine, Winnipeg
$ 505,000 $

125,000 AI Bio*
125,000 ACIDF
Micronutrient composition of meat, poultry, grains, fruits, and vegetables, and improved health Dr. David Wishart
University of Alberta
$ 2,906,000 $

160,000 AI Bio*
160,000 AIHS
160,000 ALMA

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