Lab Canada

Food and beverage research gets boost in new facility

Toronto, ON – George Brown College has launched an applied research and industry facility with the goal of helping the food and beverage industry produce nutritious and innovative products for Canadian consumers. 


Toronto’s food and beverage sector is dominated by small businesses, the backbone of Canadian industry. These small businesses often lack the resources to invest in capital equipment and the expertise necessary to innovate. To address this critical gap, the multifunctional facility, housed within George Brown’s Centre for Hospitality and Culinary Arts, will provide access to advanced learning and applied research spaces as well as much-needed opportunities for product development, including prototyping and commercialization support.


“This facility represents why we are one of Canada’s foremost leaders in food and beverage research, innovation, and education for industry,” said Robert Luke, the college’s vice-president, research and innovation. “Not only does this expansion create the conditions for companies to succeed, it also enriches the learning of students and prepares them to become the highly qualified and skilled leaders the growing food and beverage sector needs.”


Supported by $7-million in funding from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and matching George Brown College, donor and industry contributions, the facility will support a diverse group of customers, including restaurants of all types, wine and alcoholic beverage companies, food and beverage processing and manufacturing organizations, foodservice companies, hospitals and other research facilities including universities.


Along with the Chefs’ House restaurant on the first floor, the four-storey, 18,000-square-foot building will house:


– Industry Engagement and Interaction Facility: a simulation lab on the second floor that will be used for sensory evaluation, product launches and commercialization, and for special events of all kinds.


– Beverage Research Lab: a beverage research theatre on the third floor that encompasses a world-class wine lab that is available for events such as product and beverage launches, training and testing.


Beginning in early 2016, the college will also provide expanded commercialization capacity on the fourth floor for its existing Food Innovation and Research Studio (FIRSt), and will be constructing new learning and applied research spaces that include a Large Quantity Bake Lab, a Beverage Research Lab and a Large Quantity Culinary Lab.  


“We’re excited that businesses like ours will have the opportunity to leverage George Brown’s extensive applied research expertise and resources,” said Philippe Roireau, founder of Zpirit Infused Water, a Toronto-based company that makes flavoured beverages low in sugar and calories.