Food In Canada

Natural Products Canada supports three food projects in overcoming commercialization hurdles

By Food in Canada Staff   

Business Operations Specialty Foods Ingredients & Additives Alberta Editor pick Natural Products Canada Natures Crops International New School Foods Ontario Prince Edward Island University of Alberta

A raw filet from New School Foods.

Natural Products Canada (NPC) is helping three food-related companies get closer to market. New School Foods, University of Alberta and Natures Crops are among the 10 innovators who are the newest recipients of NPC’s strategic Commercialization Program.

The recipients represent a range of sustainable bio-based solutions developed by start-ups and universities from across Canada. NPC’s Program contributions support over $3 million in activities ranging from regulatory planning to field trials.

Since NPC is focused on bio-based innovation, a key part of the technology must be based on a biological component.

“We continue to be inspired by the innovators we work with on a daily basis,” says Shelley King, CEO, Natural Products Canada (NPC). “The solutions have the potential to address challenges as diverse as protecting our bee populations to ensure our farmers can produce enough food, to reducing the amount of material that ends up in our landfills.”


Natures Crops International (Prince Edward Island)
Program: Proof of Concept
Project Budget: $635,299
NPC Contribution: $250,000

Natures Crops supplies proprietary plant derived ingredients for the global nutritional and personal care industry. The business develops, grows and processes specialized oilseed crops to produce high value ingredients and operates under a completely ‘closed loop’ model. The company will use the funds to conduct research on the upcycling potential of the waste stream of their primary product into a value-added industrial ingredient.

New School Foods (Ontario)
Program: Access to Talent
Project Budget: $189,750
NPC Contribution: $75,000

New School Foods has developed a patented food structuring technology to produce whole-cut meat alternatives. The first product is a whole fillet of salmon that looks, cooks, flakes, and tastes just like conventional salmon with the same nutritional profile. The company is using the program funds to hire a lead food materials scientist to design the food science R&D and product development platform.

University of Alberta (Alberta)
Program: Proof of Concept
Project Budget: $196,075
NPC Contribution: $78,430

The University of Alberta is using the program funds to evaluate performance data, economics and scale-up of a thermally reversible gel made from pea protein. The gel can provide food texture (yogurt, jellies, etc.) or encapsulate bioactive ingredients (gummies), creating additional opportunities for this upcycled food to reach vegetarian, halal, and kosher food markets.

Natural Products Canada’s Commercialization Programs supported by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund, are designed to address the types of challenges that early-stage bio-based technologies face, including validating their technologies at industrial scale, adding critical expertise to their teams, and addressing key gaps in their business plan. The Programs, which offer up to $250,000 in funds, are highly competitive. Each applicant must provide a compelling case for their innovation and the key challenge the Program funds will address.

“The NPC team provides advice and guidance to ensure the applicants are directing their time and money wisely,” says King. “We often hear from companies that their project plans are much more strategic and impactful because of the insights the team provides along the way.”

This in-depth engagement with the applicants often fosters opportunities in other areas of NPC’s service portfolio, such as introductions to strategic partners or invitations to participate in key events.

“NPC uses many tools to advance promising innovations,” says King. “The programs in combination with the team’s insights and connections act as a powerful catalyst for the companies. We are proud to be able to support Canada’s bio-based innovation ecosystem in this way.”

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