The Canadian Food Innovation Network announced today that it has invested nearly $2 million across eight projects innovating food-tech in Canada.
“At CFIN, we believe in the transformative power of innovation to pave the way for a more sustainable and resilient food sector,” stated CEO Dana McCauley.
FoodTech Next is a unique funding opportunity for early-stage Canadian firms. The program allows companies to demonstrate and pilot innovation in real-world environments to prove solutions and validate a return on investment.
“Testing is an essential step in product development, and CFIN’s initiatives, such as the ‘FoodTech Next’ program, play a vital role in enabling this,” said François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Industry for Canada.
Three of the eight projects funded are based in B.C.
CanDry Technologies has received more than $200,000 for its project, “Enhancing Canadian Agri-Food Sustainability Through Evolutionary Low-Temperature Dehydration.”
CanDry Technologies has harnessed the synergies of vacuum, microwave, and infrared technologies to develop a patented dehydration system. Their low-temperature technology preserves nutrients and cuts dehydration costs, making it accessible to industries.
“High-quality dehydration is our passion, and with the support of CFIN, we’re committed to enhancing food quality, sustainability, and utilizing clean energy, as we collaborate with diverse clients and materials, propelling our business into new horizons,” stated chief technology officer Maddie Aliasl.
Maia Farms is another project leader from BC receiving over $200K to work on “Protein Technology to Improve Plant-based Foods.”
Collaborating with the National Research Council of Canada and utilizing extrusion technology at the Saskatchewan Food Centre, Maia Farms will produce CanPro, a blended mushroom protein ingredient promising “higher protein density than meat and superior texture to TPP alternatives.”
Renaissance BioScience is the third BC-based firm leading a FoodTech Next project.
With more than $200,000 in funding from the program, Renaissance is aiming to improve plant-based protein flavours via novel methods by applying a “proprietary clean-label, non-GMO yeast technology to convert off-flavours in plant-based proteins to more acceptable neutral compounds, using natural fermentation.”
“We’re pleased to receive this funding from CFIN for our clean-label, non-GMO yeast technology to remove undesirable flavours and aromas from plant-based protein products,” stated John Husnick for Renaissance.
“We’re excited to be working with leading Canadian food and ingredient companies on this project,” he continued, “and we look forward to mutually beneficial outcomes for both us and our partners—our innovative yeast platform technology will contribute to Canada’s role as a global leader in plant- based foods and sustainable protein innovation.”
With an overarching goal to accelerate the commercialization of Canadian innovation, FoodTech Next is supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund.
To date, CFIN has awarded $19M to 65 Canadian foodtech projects.