Niagara Research showcases recent projects in food and beverage innovation

Niagara Research has been highly active in food and beverage innovation.

During camp hour on Monday October 29, students and faculty got a taste of recent successes and fresh projects that are currently underway.

After a brief introduction from Amy Proulx, professor of Culinary Innovation and Food Technology with Niagara College, Nigel Corish, project manager with Niagara Research, and several research assistants dove into detail about their experiences working with local businesses on leading-edge applied research projects.

Scott Dupuis spoke of his experience in developing a start-up guide for small-scale food processing businesses in partnership with the Food Processing Human Resource Council (FPHRC). The guide is currently in the editing phase and will be made electronically available in the near future.

Rebecca Scott discussed the development of a new product for MADD Virgin Drinks: an alcohol-free lager with flavor profiles that match traditional alcoholic lagers, but with less alcohol than Coca-Cola. The recipe has been optimized and provided to the industry partner for them to bring to market.

Research assistants Michael Van Ninhuys and Oksana Sytchouk discussed Niagara Research’s newer, early-stage projects. Michael is researching the development of a food safety program for Durham Foods; a hydroponic spinach grower out of Port Perry, Ontario. Oksana is looking into a new product line for NEOB Botanicals. She aims to use as many Niagara-sourced ingredients as possible to concoct new beverage recipes made from essential oils such as lavender and lemongrass.

Proulx closed the event with a description of the Canadian Food and Wine Institute’s (CFWI) Research Centre; Niagara College’s future suite of laboratories and workspaces for food and beverage innovation that are set to open in 2013. This facility, powered by Niagara Research, will expand Niagara College’s capacity to innovate from a scientific perspective by enabling shelf-life analysis, microbiological studies, nutritional studies, advancement in sensory analysis, and other additional capabilities.

The next Speaker Series event will cover precision agriculture and environmental technologies, and will be held on November 26 from 1:30-2:30 p.m. in W212 (NOTL Campus). The event will feature the following speakers: Mike Duncan, NSERC’s industrial research chair in Precision Agriculture and Environmental Technologies; Sarah Lepp, senior research associate; and Steve Niles, research associate.

Students, faculty, industry, and the general public are all welcome to attend. Please RSVP by sending an e-mail to

Students also have the option of registering through their co-curricular record.


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