Skip to Content

Cooking up a bright future for Culinary Research and Innovation

July 27, 2018

Ray Hoemsen, Executive Director, Research Partnerships and Innovation, Red River College (RRC), Ian Seymour, Board Director, CFI, Paul Vogt, President and CEO, Red River College, Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, Sue Leclair, President and CEO of The Pretzel Place and RRC alumni, Doug Eyolfson, Member of Parliament for CharleswoodÑSt. JamesÑAssiniboiaÑHeadingly, and Rick Tofani, Director, Applied Research and Innovation Services, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology are photographed after an announcement of a total federal investment of $10,678,322 in research infrastructure funding for recipients awarded in the latest round of the Canada Foundation for InnovationÕs (CFI) College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) competition at Red River College in Winnipeg, Wednesday, January 18, 2012. The funding will support 11 projects at 11 different colleges/polytechnics across Canada. Canadian Press Images/John Woods

On Wednesday, Science and Sport Minister Kirsty Duncan stopped by Jane’s restaurant to announce a total federal investment of over $10 million in research infrastructure funding for recipients awarded in the latest round of the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s (CFI) College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) competition.

Red River College was one of eleven successful colleges and polytechnics across Canada, and now thanks to the CFI’s investment of more than $1 million, construction is underway to build the College’s first-ever multi-functional culinary research centre.

“Red River College’s Culinary Research & Innovation (CR&I) continues to grow, and expand its work with students and industry partners to develop healthy and delicious new products from Prairie ingredients,” said Ray Hoemsen, Executive Director of Research Partnerships & Innovation.

“The support we are receiving from CFI will enable us to establish our Culinary Research and Food Innovation Kitchen on the 11th floor of the Paterson GlobalFoods Insitute; coincidentally the same floor where the Union Bank and then the Royal Bank of Canada had kitchen and dining facilities.”

This state-of-the-art research lab will enable researchers, faculty and students to collaborate with the food and agriculture industry on projects that will enhance food safety research, and address changing consumer needs and challenges such as food waste.

Once complete, the new research centre will feature:

  • A fully equipped commercial kitchen and second modular-style kitchen for project-specific equipment
  • An analytical and culturing lab
  • A client collaboration and focus group space
  • A specialized food photography room

The new space and equipment will primarily be used for research with industry partners, but will also be available to instructors and students seeking to enhance their education and professional development.

“Red River College is a leader in culinary research and innovation,” said RRC President Paul Vogt. “To date we’ve worked on more than 40 different projects with local food and agricultural producers in Manitoba to help them innovate and bring new products to market.

“This support from the Canada Foundation for Innovation means that we can expand our research capabilities to meet this growing demand, and create a dedicated state-of-the-art facility for researchers, instructors and students to work collaboratively — shoulder-to-shoulder with industry — to make the impossible possible when it comes to new food product creation and culinary innovation.”

Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, samples some food products after announcing a total federal investment of $10,678,322 in research infrastructure funding for recipients awarded in the latest round of the Canada Foundation for InnovationÕs (CFI) College-Industry Innovation Fund (CIIF) competition at Red River College in Winnipeg, Wednesday, January 18, 2012. The funding will support 11 projects at 11 different colleges/polytechnics across Canada. Canadian Press Images/John Woods

The CFIs grant, delivered through its College-Industry Innovation Fund, is part of a $2.74-million renovation and equipment acquisition plan for the space at PGI.

Here are some of the highlights from various industry projects with Canadian companies and producers that CR&I has been involved with over the last year:

  • Creation of an award-winning all-hemp macaroon, as part of a product line for Piccola Cucina. Our team used locally sourced hemp instead of almonds; the new products are now ready for shelf-life testing.
  • Development of a miso paste using spent grain from local microbreweries. Working with the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network, our team turned what would have been waste into a tasty value-added product.
  • Development of a new recipes and applications of a prebiotic aimed at improving digestive tract health, in partnership with nutritional supplement provider MSPrebiotic Inc. Under the supervision of a Research Chef, RRC students developed recipes that met requirements related to dose requirements and temperature limitations.
  • Creation of a new beer-flavoured pretzel seasoning in partnership with local snack mainstay The Pretzel Place. Our team worked with RRC alumni and The Pretzel Place owner Sue Leclair to develop this new twist on flavour, now available at both Winnipeg locations; Shaw Park and Investors Group Field.