SUMMERLAND, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwired - Dec. 16, 2013) - The Government of Canada is continuing to make key investments in science and innovation to help Canadian producers and processors meet market demands and thrive in the global marketplace. Today, Member of Parliament Dan Albas (Okanagan-Coquihalla), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, announced an investment to help farmers turn traditional crops into new revenue streams by extracting natural chemicals from plant materials for use in foods and cosmetics.
"Our government is proud to support companies that develop innovative, leading-edge technology that contributes to a strong, modern and economically sound agricultural and agri-food sector," said Mr. Albas. "This Canadian-made pioneering technology will increase the demand for a wide variety of Canadian agricultural crops and help processors boost their profits while fulfilling the growing demand for health enhancing foods."
Through the AgriInnovation Program, the Government of Canada is investing up to $300 000 to help Mazza Innovation Ltd. study the economic feasibility of using phytochemicals, such as antioxidants, to create naturally-sourced nutraceuticals in functional foods and beverages on a commercial scale.
Dr. Giuseppe (Joe) Mazza founded Mazza Innovation Ltd. in 2011 with a mission to develop and market innovative extraction technologies that recover high value molecular components from plants. Based in Summerland, the company's technology is being applied to deliver high-value extracts for ingredient manufacturers for the food and nutraceutical industries.
"We are very excited to receive this support from the Government of Canada. The funding will help finance the optimization of our patented extraction process which will not only help Canadian agriculture producers enhance the value of their crops, but will provide a green, sustainable and more cost-effective system to extract phytochemicals from plants. Our aim is to be the technology of choice for the production of high value ingredients used in nutraceuticals, essentially functional foods and beverages and dietary supplements," said Dr. Joe Mazza, who invented the plant extraction technology, and is a renowned global authority on phytochemical extraction and functional foods.
Natural food products made without chemical processing methods are in high demand from health-conscious consumers, and health product and functional foods manufacturers will benefit from a cleaner, more cost-efficient and environmentally sustainable ingredient supply.
The AgriInnovation Program is a five-year, up to $698-million initiative under the Growing Forward 2 framework. The industry-led research and development stream supports pre-commercialization research, development and knowledge transfer leading to innovative agriculture, agri-food and agri-based practices, processes and products.
The new Growing Forward 2 policy framework, which came into effect on April 1, 2013, will continue to drive innovation and long-term growth in Canada. In addition to a generous suite of business risk management programs, governments have agreed to invest more than $3 billion over five years in innovation, competitiveness, and market development.
For more information on the Growing Forward 2 agreement and the AgriInnovation Program, please visit www.agr.gc.ca/growingforward2.