Bakers Journal

Ontario Food Cluster showcases innovation at Anuga

October 11, 2011
By Bakers Journal

October 11, 2011, Cologne, Germany – The Ontario Food Cluster is bringing its business investment and innovation message to Anuga 2011 in Cologne, Germany.

The Ontario Food Cluster is seeking to attract more agri-food firms outside Canada to join or expand an existing 2,500 food and beverage companies in the country's largest province.

Those companies boast manufacturing revenue approaching $34 billion, and help drive agri-food exports that amount to more than $9 billion annually. They also help employ 210,000 industry employees, researchers, innovators and collaborators who have built a stellar reputation for reliable, sustainable sources of agricultural raw materials, state-of-the-art automated food processing methods, and world-class food safety standards.

An example of innovation within the Ontario Food Cluster includes a technology developed at the University of Guelph for creating a more healthy chocolate bar with fat replacements that are completely metabolized, and do not interfere with the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. The fat replacements actually promote weight loss and improve blood lipids in both human and animal trials.

Shortenings, spreads and confectionery fats are also candidates for the new fat replacement technology used to create "healthy chocolate." Such products can improve a food product's health profile without compromising taste or texture, according to researchers.

"What makes the Ontario Food Cluster so compelling is our R&D-driven talent base," says Gerald Pisarzowski, vice-president business development, Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance (GTMA). "International companies moving to or expanding in Ontario can tap into a renewable resource of 5,200 annual graduates from 64 food-specific college and university programs. There are also more than 500 well-funded R&D experts working in Ontario's academic institutions, or in 132 research institutes, networks, and associations devoted to excellence in food production, processing and packaging."

Ontario has a global reputation for food quality and dominates 31.8 per cent of Canada's supermarket and convenience/specialty food store market, more than any other Canadian province. The Ontario Food Cluster's mission is to grow that national dominance to international dominance.

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