New report showcases Canadian food and beverage processing research

1 July 2020

Canadian companies leading innovation in food safety, clean labels

For immediate release

Winnipeg MB, 30 June 2020 - A newly released publication highlights innovative research happening in Canada’s food and beverage processing industry.

The latest edition of the Canadian Food Innovators (CFI-ICA) Spotlight on innovation in the Canadian food and beverage manufacturing sector report focuses on food safety and clean labels. The projects are all part of the CFI-ICA research cluster, “Using science and innovation to strengthen Canada’s value-added food industry”.

This is part of funding previously announced by the Honourable Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, of up to $4.6 million to the Food and Beverage Cluster through the Canadian Agricultural Partnership's AgriScience Program. The cluster, led by CFI-ICA, included an additional $2 million in contributions from industry, for a total investment of $6.6 million.

“In order to keep our agri-food industry strong and competitive we must continue to invest in Canadian innovations,” says Minister Bibeau. “Ensuring that our processors are on the cutting-edge of innovation will increase not only their competitiveness, but will help grow their businesses, while providing high quality food for Canadian families.”

“We are excited to launch this new report just in time for Canada Day so we can share with Canadians some of the exciting innovations underway in our national food and beverage manufacturing sector,” says CFI-ICA Chair Joe Lake, Director of Innovation & Research at McCain Foods Limited. “Food safety and clean label innovations are major priorities for food and beverage companies across the country.”

The following cluster projects are highlighted in the report:

  • Using pulsed light to boost safety of frozen vegetables: Bonduelle Americas and Cintech Agroalimentaire, Quebec
  • A natural preservative for clean label food and beverages: Chinova Bioworks, New Brunswick
  • In search of a natural solution against spoilage bacteria and pathogen in poultry and frozen vegetable products: Bonduelle Americas, Exceldor Co-operative and Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Quebec
  • An eco-friendly solution to prevent listeria risks in food processing environments: Gay Lea Foods Co-operative and Agriculture & Agri-Food Canada, Ontario
  • Testing the impacts of antibiotic alternatives on pork quality and safety: Olymel S.E.C./L.P., Université Laval and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Quebec

There are five additional projects in the cluster that will be highlighted in the next report CFI-ICA undertook a national consultative and priority setting process with the food and beverage industry to identify the main themes of this new cluster. 

“A major advantage of these projects is that we’ve been able to connect food and beverage businesses with researchers in academia and government,” adds Lake. “This cluster is an example of a public-private partnership led by industry to drive relevant innovation. The outcomes will strengthen Canada’s position in the global economy and contribute to the growth and competitiveness of our sector.”

The new report is available at

The Canadian Food Innovators was established in 2013 to enable Canada’s food and beverage manufacturing companies to jointly access federal innovation programs and successfully delivered the country’s first food processing research cluster.


For more information:
Joe Lake, CFI-ICA Chair, or 506-391-8019