Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

December 03, 2007 10:59 ET

Government of Canada Invests $950,000 Into Expanding Market Opportunities for Farmers

TRURO, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 3, 2007) - The Government of Canada is investing $950,000 towards the Atlantic BioVenture Centre Project, announced Gerald Keddy, Member of Parliament for South Shore-St. Margaret's, on behalf of the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board.

"The Government of Canada through its investment in the Atlantic BioVenture Centre Project is showing its commitment to working with partners to develop innovative technologies that will help our farmers maintain their competitive edge, while providing healthy food for all Canadians," said Mr. Keddy. "By helping our farmers take advantage of new value-added markets, we help the agricultural and agri-food sectors succeed. Ultimately this will benefit Canadian consumers."

The Nova Scotia Agricultural College (NSAC)-led project will develop and test a portable micro-factory designed to help small-scale Canadian producers and processors get more value from their crops by extracting highly valued nutraceutical and bioactive ingredients and selling them on the expanding global nutraceutical, bioactives and natural product market.

"Research and technology are cornerstones to the growth and development of Nova Scotia's agri-food sector. This project will assist our producers to be more innovative and enhance our competitiveness in the global market," said Jamie Muir, Minister of Service Nova Scotia and Municipal Relations on behalf of Brooke Taylor, Nova Scotia Minister of Agriculture.

The micro-factory will be tested using two well-established commercial crops, wild blueberries and cranberries. Currently, the residue from small juice manufacturers, containing a substantial proportion of the bioflavonoids and other valuable nutraceuticals is treated as waste or sold for low value uses such as animal feed. The new factory will allow the recovery of these bioactives and provide the incentives for further development of this crop in the region.

"This novel idea has numerous potential benefits not only for these important horticultural crops, but also as a conceptual approach that supports local development of all types of agricultural bioresources," said NSAC Vice President Academic, Dr. Leslie MacLaren. We are proud and pleased to be able to support this exciting initiative."

The Government of Canada's contribution to the project will be partnered with a $100,000 contribution from the Government of Nova Scotia; $100,000 contribution from the Government of Prince Edward Island; and $116,000 cash and $130,000 in-kind contribution from industry.

The Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) funding for Atlantic BioVenture Centre initiative funding falls under the Agricultural Policy Framework (APF), Science and Innovation Agri-Innovation Program. To find out more, please visit AAFC web site at


The Atlantic BioVenture Centre was established in 2005 as a division of AgriTECH Park in Truro, Nova Scotia. AgriTECH Park is a wing of the Nova Scotia Agricultural College that supports the growth and development of promising new Bio-Science projects. The Centre is encouraging the development of innovative bio-based, value-added products and services and is working with both primary and processing sectors on Bio-Resource value-chain developments and technology transfer.


Consumers are increasingly interested in the health benefits of foods and have begun to look beyond the basic nutritional benefits of food to the disease prevention and health improving compounds contained in many foods. This combined with a more widespread understanding of how diet affects disease, health-care costs and an aging population have created a market for functional foods and natural health products.

Functional foods and nutraceuticals provide an opportunity to improve the health of Canadians, reduce health care costs and support economic development in rural communities. They also offer a way for some producers to diversify their agriculture and marine-based crops. According to market statistics, the global functional food and nutraceutical market is growing at a rate that is outpacing the traditional processed food market.

A functional food is similar in appearance to, or may be, a conventional food that is consumed as part of a usual diet, and is demonstrated to have physiological benefits and/or reduce the risk of chronic disease beyond basic nutritional functions, i.e. they contain bioactive compound.

A nutraceutical is a product isolated or purified from foods that is generally sold in medicinal forms not usually associated with foods. A nutraceutical is demonstrated to have a physiological benefit or provide protection against chronic disease.

Bioactive Compounds are the naturally occurring chemical compounds contained in, or derived from, a plant, animal or marine source, that exert the desired health/wellness benefit (e.g. omega-3 fatty acids in flax or fish oils and beta-glucans from oats and barley).

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Patrick J. McCloskey
    Press Secretary