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Indigenous Food Products

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) scientists are supporting Indigenous communities in the development of their agriculture and agri-food sector. There are several collaborative projects involving the characterization and preservation of ancestral varieties, cultivation methods and food uses of the “Three Sisters” (corn, squash and beans) that have a long tradition of cultivation by Indigenous people.

At the Saint-Hyacinthe Research and Development Centre, researchers are collaborating with the Agricultural Society for Indigenous Food Products to assess the food processing potential of ancestral vegetables grown from Indigenous seeds. The manufacturing of bread is an excellent way to measure the potential of different ingredients in food processing. The researchers added 10% of the flour from one of the Three Sisters (squash) and observed that, in certain cases, the bread rose very well. These high value-added flours could be marketed with bread manufacturers. In addition to its heritage and societal value, squash flour, for example, is hypoglycemic, which is another draw for producers.

This is one step forward in the quest for knowledge aimed at supporting traditional foods and developing value-added products with Indigenous stakeholders.

For more information:

Agricultural Society for Indigenous Food Products

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