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Berry Good Technology
Dr. Joe Mazza explains the technology developed by Mazza Innovation to extract nutritious phytochemicals from berries and grapes. The extract is then used to boost the nutritional value of various foods and beverages.
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$300,000 for agricultural R&D
The federal AgriInnovation program has invested up to $300,000 to help Mazza Innovation of Summerland develop its cutting edge process to extract nutritious phytochemicals from berries and grapes. On hand for the cheque presentation were Benoit Girard (Agriculture Canada), Len Zapalowski (CEO of Mazza), MP Dan Albas, Dr. Joe Mazza (Founder of Mazza Innovation), Janice Perinno (Mayor of Summerland), and Dr. Gordon Neish, (Mazza Board Member).
Better nutrition for the world; more business for berry growers.
That’s the goal for a $300,000 investment by the federal government in an innovative new technology developed by Mazza Innovation.
The Summerland company has developed a patented process to extract phytochemicals from plants, and use them to create naturally sourced nutraceuticals in foods and beverages.
The result would be products enhanced by the highly nutritious polyphenols from BC berry fruits that have been shown to fight cancer, boost the immune system, and even boost brain activity.
Member of Parliament Dan Albas (Okanagan-Coquihalla), on behalf of Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, said the government is investing $300,000 from the AgriInnovation Program. Albas says the government’s interest is in helping BC farmers turn traditional crops into new revenue streams by extracting natural chemicals from plant materials for use in foods and cosmetics.
“Our government is proud to support companies that develop innovative, leading-edge technology that contributes to a strong, modern and economically sound agricultural and agri-food sector,” said Albas. “This Canadian-made pioneering technology will increase the demand for a wide variety of Canadian agricultural crops and help processors boost their profits while fulfilling the growing demand for health enhancing foods.”
The funds will be used to help Mazza Innovation Ltd. study the economic feasibility of using phytochemicals, such as antioxidants, to create naturally-sourced nutraceuticals in functional foods and beverages on a commercial scale.
Mazza Innovation was founded by Dr. Giuseppe (Joe) Mazza in 2011 to develop extraction technologies that recover high value molecular components from plants.
The extracts would then be shipped to ingredient manufacturers for the food and nutraceutical industries.
“We are very excited to receive this support from the Government of Canada,” said Mazza. “The funding will help finance the optimization of our patented extraction process, which will not only help Canadian agriculture producers enhance the value of their crops, but will provide a green, sustainable and more cost-effective system to extract phytochemicals from plants.
“Our aim is to be the technology of choice for the production of high value ingredients used in nutraceuticals, essentially functional foods and beverages and dietary supplements.”
Summerland may not seem like a likely site for cutting edge research and development, but Mazza is considered one of the world’s leading scientists in the field of food production.
Prior to funding his company, Mazza was a leading research scientist at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Mazza has published more than 200 research articles, 30 book chapters, and written five books. He was named by the Institute for Scientific Information (ISI) as one of the world’s most cited and influential researchers in Agricultural Sciences. In 2002 Dr. Mazza was a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal for his work in the area of functional foods and nutraceuticals.
The AgriInnovation funding program supports pre-commercialization research, development and knowledge transfer leading to innovative agriculture, agri-food and agri-based practices, processes and products.
In addition to a variety of business risk management programs, federal and provincial governments have agreed to invest more than $3 billion over five years in innovation, competitiveness, and market development.