Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

December 02, 2011 09:47 ET

Research Will Maximize Quality and Shelf-life for Fruit & Vegetables

CENTREVILLE, NOVA SCOTIA--(Marketwire - Dec. 2, 2011) - A local farm-based company will put more fresh-cut vegetables and blueberry juice onto shelves thanks to the support of the Government of Canada. MP Scott Armstrong (Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley) announced today an investment of more than $196,000 to local company Nova-Agri Inc. for research into new production processes that will offer consumers nutritious, home-grown fruit and vegetable products year-round.

"An innovative agriculture sector is a competitive agriculture sector and this investment benefits farmers, local business and consumers," said MP Armstrong on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz. "Customers will get high-quality, locally-grown products, while producers will boost our economy through new value-added opportunities for their products."

Research into novel food processing practices will help Nova-Agri Inc. improve the nutritional properties of their products, such as retaining high antioxidant levels in blueberry, and extend the growing season for fresh greens so they can offer more convenient, healthy foods.

This investment will allow Nova-Agri Inc. to expand their vegetable line by developing new processes to allow some locally grown items to be offered year-round. Research into post-harvest practices will help identify the best handling practices, storage conditions and packaging needed to maximize food quality and nutritional benefits while extending shelf life.

"We are very pleased to be part of the DIAP program," said Nancy Tregunno, New Product Development Manager of Nova Agri Inc. "The extra resources are enabling us to research these opportunities with the end goal of providing some exciting new year-round Country Magic products to Canadian consumers which support our commitment to health and wellness."

The horticulture sector is a vital component of Canada's agriculture industry and plays an important role in the economy. In 2010, the Canadian horticulture industry brought in almost $6 billion in farm cash receipts and generated exports of over $3.7 billion.

This project is funded under the Developing Innovative Agri-Products (DIAP) initiative, a component of the Growing Forward framework under the Agri-Innovations program, a $159 million five-year program announced to support industry-led science and technology projects. The Government of Canada recently announced a new $50 million program, the Agricultural Innovation Program, to continue supporting the development and commercialization of innovative new products, technologies and processes in the agricultural sector.

For more information on Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's programs visit

Contact Information

  • Media Relations
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario

    Meagan Murdoch
    Director of Communications
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz