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Food Processing Facility

Guelph Research and Development Centre

Outside of building with cars parked in front of it.

Exterior of the pilot plant

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) Guelph Research and Development Centre (GRDC) is home to a unique pilot-scale food research facility that is helping Canada continue to be a leader in food safety and food process engineering research.

This special pilot plant allows scientists to work with pathogenic microorganisms in a controlled environment. Scientists study how microorganisms react to new and existing food processing technologies using pilot-scale equipment. For example, recent research into pasteurization using ultraviolet (UV) light has controlled bacterial contamination while showing better colour and taste retention in beverages such as apple juice.

The containment level 2 food processing pilot plant was completed in the spring of 2011 through an investment under the Modernizing Federal Laboratories Initiative of Canada's Economic Action Plan. The facility was designed to encourage collaboration across government, industry, and academia. It supports the research of scientists at AAFC who work with key partners in food safety, including the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Health Canada, the Public Health Agency of Canada, university scientists and the food processing sector.

The facility is benefiting Canadian farmers, food processors, and consumers by testing new advances in food processing methods that will enhance food safety.

Here is a video of the Pilot Plant Program in action.

Areas of Research

Since 2011, the researchers at this food processing facility have undertaken various research projects including:

Features of the Pilot-Scale Food Processing Facility

This facility's state-of-the-art features enable highly sophisticated, controlled experiments which ensure safe foods and processing methods for Canadians.

Inside of the pilot plant showing a row of plastic enclosed scaffolding structures.

Interior of the pilot plant

BioBubbles


Close-up of one plastic enclosed scaffolding structure with a machine inside.

One of the BioBubbles inside the pilot plant

Allowing Future Innovations

The pilot-scale food processing facility is driving innovation to help Canada continue to be a leader in food safety. The research and collaborative efforts at the GRDC will foster new areas of opportunity for the sector for many years to come while enhancing the safety of the food supply and maintaining nutritional values. AAFC is committed to innovation as the key to an agricultural sector that is productive, sustainable, and competitive.

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