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Conference raises awareness of functional ingredients use in food industry

May 28, 2014 — 

The Western Canadian Functional Food Ingredients Conference will take place at the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals (RCFFN) at the University’s Fort Garry Campus on June 11 and 12.

The objective of the conference is to increase awareness of the use of functional ingredients in the food industry, especially those derived from Manitoba and western Canada. As consumers become more interested in functional foods and healthy diets, food companies are looking to incorporate functional foods into their products to capture this opportunity.

The food and beverage processing industry is the largest manufacturing sector in Manitoba, valued at $4.32 billion in 2011 and employing over 10,000 Manitobans. Adopting new technologies and finding new uses for commodities will assist Manitoba’s food industry to set itself apart in a competitive marketplace and achieve continued growth for the benefit of all Manitobans.

Food industry participants, and growers of commodities with potential as functional ingredients, will learn about technologies and applications to enhance processed foods with functional ingredients, and how to transform commodities into these functional ingredients. This will give these food processors and agricultural producers increased ability to meet consumer demands for healthy products while maintaining or reducing costs to improve competitiveness.

Speakers from the Pulse, Fruit and Vegetable, Cereal, and Oilseed sectors and industry organizations will inform the audience about western Canadian functional ingredients and their application as food ingredients for the finished food product industry.  Western Canadian-based food manufacturers will share their success stories of how incorporating functional ingredients into their product lines benefits their target customers and their bottom line. Prairie-grown products such as flax, pulses, hemp and berries have bioactive compounds, and Manitoba has the expertise at RCFFN and the Food Development Centre (FDC) to assist processors in commercializing innovative products using functional ingredients.

The Conference Committee is made up of representatives from the Manitoba Food Processors Association, Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals, the Food Development Centre, Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development, Jobs and the Economy, and the National Research Council of Canada.

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