Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

March 25, 2008 15:31 ET

The Government of Canada Supports Innovation in the Dairy Sector

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - March 25, 2008) - The Government of Canada is investing close to $1 million to assist SciMed Technologies with the marketing of its new diagnostic kits, which test Vitamin A and D in milk and dairy-based foods.

The announcement was made today by Blaine Calkins, Member of Parliament for Wetaskiwin, on behalf of the Honourable Gerry Ritz, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food and Minister for the Canadian Wheat Board.

The two new diagnostic kits (VitaKit A™ and VitaKit D™) speed up the time it takes dairy processors to reliably and efficiently test the vitamin content of their own milk, because specialized laboratory equipment or expertise is not required.

"With these new tests, dairy processors will be able to complete tests in as little as two hours, compared to the current process which takes three to five days," said MP Calkins. "This type of innovation in the dairy sector is a win-win for processors who can achieve real cost savings, and also for Canadians who will benefit from improved quality of milk products."

The project consists of implementing plans for the commercial development of two new diagnostic kits (VitaKit A™ and VitaKit D™) used for the identification and measuring of vitamin A and D in dairy-based foods. These kits will significantly reduce testing times and increase reliability, accuracy and simplicity of testing. For consumers, vitamin fortification of milk products will be more consistent, ensuring enhanced quality control and assurance.

"We are very pleased to receive this important federal government support of our project," said Dr. Rajan Gupta, President of SciMed Laboratories. "This funding will allow us to move beyond the beta stage of product development and move rapidly toward commercialization of our VitaKits."

The funding is being provided through Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) Agri-Opportunities program. The Agri-Opportunities program is a $134 million five-year program that provides funds to accelerate the commercialization of new agricultural products, processes or services to help Canadian farms, businesses and organizations take advantage of new domestic and global markets.

For more information on AAFC's Agri-Opportunities program please visit (under Programs and Services).

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Margaux Stastny
    Press Secretary