Lab Canada

Agri-food products the focus of research partnership

Vineland, ON – The University of Guelph and the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre are collaborating on national and international industry-driven horticulture research initiatives and have signed a research partnership.

The agreement is expected to yield new ideas and products for grape growers and winemakers, fruit producers and professional landscapers, ranging from new fruit cultivars with health-boosting antioxidants to wider food choices at the supermarket.

Both partners will conduct research and develop products for the multi-million-dollar agri-food industry, said Rich Moccia, the university’s interim associate vice-president (research) agri-food and partnerships.

“Signing this new agreement takes us in a brand new direction,” he said. “It takes the best of the capacity of the University of Guelph and the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre and establishes a partnership to explore and use the latest technologies to improve products, quality and choice and to increase economic wealth.”

“The signing of this partnership agreement with the University of Guelph is an important milestone for us at the Vineland Research and Innovation Centre,” said Jim Brandle, Vineland’s CEO. “We’re very pleased to be able to work with the calibre of faculty scientists, researchers and staff who are on site at Vineland as we move to deliver on our industry-driven research priorities.”

The agreement builds on research collaborations involving University of Guelph faculty members in the department of plant agriculture and will allow Guelph scientists to explore new research collaborations at Vineland, especially in three main fields:

– Consumer insights and product innovation. A new sensory analysis laboratory, directed by a sensory and consumer science expert, will allow researchers to conduct consumer and marketing tests of new wines, juices and horticultural products.

– Applied genomics. A world-leading researcher in applied genomics will use biotechnology and plant breeding to help develop horticulture crops to increase yield, resist diseases and meet consumer demand.

– Horticultural production systems. Researchers in Guelph and Vineland will develop horticultural technologies and production methods, including cultivation techniques, greenhouse technologies and pest management.