Category Archives: packaging

Waterloo company prototypes light-based food inspection technology at Burlington-area food processor

Shine a light on me

By Matt McIntosh

Waterloo – Good lighting can do more than illuminate your salad. It can actually tell you the quality of those soon-to-be ingested leafy greens.

With the right technology, light can be used to measure the quality of food in real-time. When it comes to food processing, that can help make for more efficient and less wasteful production systems.

With funding through Growing Forward 2 (GF2), Waterloo’s P & P Optica has patented a system allowing them to incorporate hyperspectral imaging technology into a fast-paced, food processing environment.

“We developed what we call PPO Smart Imaging, which is a process that uses light to analyze the chemical makeup of a specific food product,” said Kevin Turnbull, Vice President of Sales for P & P Optica. Continue reading

Ontario technology makes single serve coffee more environmentally friendly

mike-tiessen-left-and-atul-bali-right-webBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Leamington – A unique partnership involving a local biopolymer compounding company, technology from the University of Guelph and a food packaging company could make single serve coffee pod garbage a thing of the past.

Competitive Green Technologies of Leamington is working with the world’s leading single serve coffee brand owners on a recyclable and compostable version of the single serve coffee pod.

Its key structural components are made from bio-composites using biomass like coffee chaff, a waste stream of the coffee industry. Other biomass such as corn fiber, bio-carbon and miscanthus are also used, ensuring added markets for agriculture. Continue reading

Extending the shelf life of fresh Ontario fruits and vegetables

Bins full of apples - webBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Simcoe ON – New storage bins are currently being tested that could extend the shelf life of fresh Ontario produce. Watch the video.

It can be a real challenge for farmers to match their supply of fresh fruits and vegetables with consumer demand – especially at the height of the harvest when there is often an excess of fresh produce on the market, which can lower prices to growers.

The new bins, designed for use in cold storage facilities, may help solve that problem by extending the shelf life of perishable crops to give farmers more flexibility with their marketing decisions. Continue reading

New centre to build local food economy in Eastern Ontario

Building from outside - webBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Northumberland County – A new food hub in Eastern Ontario is opening for business and local officials have high hopes about what it might accomplish for the region.

The Ontario Agri-Food Venture Centre (OAFVC) will boost rural, food-based entrepreneurship and offer local training opportunities to help keep people in the area, says Northumberland County’s agricultural manager.

The state of the art centre, which is available for rent by the day or half day, is fully equipped with the technology needed to add value to raw agricultural products – from flash freezing and cold pressing to canning, short term cold storage, and hot kitchen recipe development. Continue reading

Fresh Ontario grapes at Christmas could soon be a reality, research shows

grapes - webBy Lilian Schaer for AgInnovation Ontario

Vineland, Ontario – Postharvest specialists at Vineland Research and Innovation Centre (Vineland) have found a way to extend the shelf life of fresh Ontario table grapes so they can be available to consumers longer.

Sovereign Coronation is the most popular table grape variety grown in Ontario and it is ripe and ready for market in late summer and early fall – the same time as many other local fruits, as well as table grapes from other jurisdictions.

This means Ontario table grapes are often overlooked by fruit buyers and farmers face losses if they are unable to find a market for their crop. Continue reading