Charlottetown, PEI – A major expansion at the Prince Edward Island Food Technology Centre to accommodate the Atlantic Natural Products Development Initiative was recently opened. In the centre’s laboratory and processing facility, researchers are working with private-sector partners to develop innovative technologies to extract high-value natural products from agricultural and marine bioresources.
The extraction capability is intended to complement an expanding biosciences cluster that is focused around the new National Research Council’s Institute for Nutrisciences and Health which is currently under construction.
Demand for natural products continues to grow in the global marketplace. Through the Atlantic Natural Products Development Initiative, the food technology centre is exploring new extraction technologies, such as ultrasonic applications, to improve the quality and the yield of the extracts obtained.
The current research focus is on bioproducts such as natural colours, nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals from a variety of raw materials such as lobster shells, seaweed, agricultural crops and wild plants. Industry partners in the initiative include Bio Exx., Naturally Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Fruit Growers Association, Ocean Nutrition Canada, and Ocean Produce International.
The Atlantic Natural Products Development Initiative is being funded through a $4.9 million contribution from ACOA’s Atlantic Innovation Fund. The province of Prince Edward Island is providing $1.5 million while Bio Exx is contributing $300,000. Other industry partners will be contributing as research is undertaken at the new facility.