Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada



Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 10, 2012 13:34 ET

Harper Government Invests in New Technology for Plant Extracts

SUMMERLAND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Oct. 10, 2012) - A new technology to extract valuable nutrients from plants, which has potential benefits for both producers and consumers, is getting a boost from the Harper Government. Member of Parliament Dan Albas (Okanagan-Coquihalla), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced today an investment for Mazza Innovation Ltd. to help scale up their novel environmentally-friendly process.

"This is a great example of what we are trying to achieve with our investments in innovation and commercialization," said MP Albas. "Our Government is proud to support novel projects like this one, which find environmentally-conscious ways to help farmers add value to their crops. Bringing new ideas to the market will keep Canada's agricultural sector strong and sustainable."

Mazza Innovation will use the investment of $175,000 to develop a demonstration-scale processing system that uses pressurized water, rather than chemical solvents, to extract high-value natural products (phytochemicals) from fruits and vegetables for use in foods and pharmaceuticals. These phytochemicals, which have protective or disease preventive properties, such as antioxidants, can help boost the nutritional value of everyday foods for consumers.

This technology has the potential to fill a gap in the nutraceuticals market, as consumers are looking for food products with health and medical benefits that can protect against disease. This can open new markets for farmers by creating value-added opportunities for their crops.

"One of our interests is to extract high-value products from the waste streams of the fruit and vegetable processing industries," said Dr. Joe Mazza, founder of Mazza Innovation. "We also want to provide extraction technology to companies that want to avoid the use of expensive and flammable chemical solvents. This investment by the Government of Canada will accelerate the commercialization of our technology and the job creation that will come about as a result of this."

This project is funded under the Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) - a $50 million initiative announced as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan 2011. AIP is part of the Government's commitment to help Canadian producers benefit from cutting edge science and technology. AIP boosts the development and commercialization of innovative new products, technologies and processes for the agricultural sector.

Last month, federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) Ministers of Agriculture reached agreement on the five-year Growing Forward 2 policy framework. The new agreement will continue to drive innovation and long-term growth in Canada. Governments have agreed to invest more than $3 billion over five years in innovation, competitiveness and market development.

For more information about the Agricultural Innovation Program and other AAFC programs please visit www.agr.gc.ca. This project is also being supported by the National Research Council of Canada through the Industrial Research Assistance Program, which helps small and medium-sized enterprises to build their innovation capacity.

For more information on GF2, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/growingforward2.

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    613-773-7972
    1-866-345-7972

    Jeff English
    Press Secretary
    Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    613-773-1059