Research Partnerships and Innovation

Research Partnerships & Innovation


Coverage continues of hemp macaroon partnership

October 17, 2017


Pina Romolo, co-owner of Piccola Cucina (14-360 Keewatin St.), won the silver award at the Great Manitoba Food Fight held at De Luca’s Specialty Foods Store, receiving $7,000 for her hemp macaroons, reports Ligia Braidotti in Canstar Community News.
Piccola Cucina partnered with Red River College’s Culinary Research and Innovation program to produce a macaroon made of hemp seeds.
The partnership and product has received high-praises from industry, government, and media.
Read the full article here.
Learn more about the CRI program here (PDF).

Partnership Brings Science to Your Dinner Table to Address Global Issues

September 29, 2017

As researchers and industry representatives converged on Winnipeg for the 2017 Agricultural Bioscience International Conference (ABIC) this week, nearly 250 participants received a small cookbook that highlights how science reaches your dinner table.
The “Hot Elements” cookbook is a tasty fusion between science, health and recipe development, created in partnership between the Culinary Research & Innovation (CRI) team at Red River College, Genome Prairie and the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network (MAHRN). Read More →

Aileen Lopez Talks Culinary Arts & Research

June 30, 2017

Aileen Lopez is a second year Culinary Arts student currently doing her second co-op placement with the Culinary Research & Innovation program at Red River College. We chatted with Aileen about her path to culinary arts and research.
What got you interested in Culinary Arts?
I got interested in Culinary when I moved here to Canada with my two sisters. None of us knew how to cook meals that we usually eat back home in the Philippines. Since none of us was trying hard enough to make “good” dishes, I decided to step up and watch videos online on how to prep ingredients correctly.
I also read different recipes everyday so I can incorporate it into the dishes I wanted to make for my sisters. As time went by, I gained more interest in cooking, and I was seeing improvement on the dishes that I was creating. The biggest factor that made me want to pursue Culinary was seeing the happiness and appreciation for the meals I have prepared. That was reason enough for me to enter Culinary school. Read More →

Seany Boy! Research Technician Beginning New Chapter

June 20, 2017

Sean Audet will be leaving the Culinary Research & Innovation team to launch a project of his own. We caught up with Sean for this brief Q&A, and to wish him well on his next culinary adventure.
You’re an expressive character and we love that about you. Do you have any fun or funny stories during your time at the College?
Read More →

From Vineyards to Whale Blubber: In Conversation with Joel Lamoureux

June 12, 2017

We met Joel Lamoureux in Jane’s Restaurant to snap a few pictures and talk about the expanding culinary research program at Red River College.
Joel is the Research Manager of the Culinary Research & Innovation program at Red River College. Joel has over 10 years of culinary experience and has a Culinary Arts Diploma from Red River College and a Bachelor of Science in Food Science from the University of Manitoba.
Joel’s passion for cooking and food has taken him across Canada and abroad to gain experience and learn new techniques. He’s spent time working in France, New York City and Montreal to name a few.
Following the completion of his undergraduate degree, Joel worked in product development and food safety sectors. Read More →

Winnipeg Brewery Grains Find New Life in Ancient Japanese Seasoning

February 9, 2017

The grain that goes into making this freshly poured beer can be put to good use. (Photo by Flickr user Adam Barhan, Creative Commons Licence.)

Manitoba is witnessing the emergence of a flourishing beer brewing market, and malt is a core ingredient of the brewing process.
Mashing malt is one of the first steps in the beer production process, and the resulting spent grains are typically used as animal feed.
But researchers at Red River College are exploring an innovative new way to use these spent grains.
In partnership with two local brewers, Torque Brewing and Farmery, the Red River College Culinary Research Program will explore the possibility of using these two sources of spent grains to create Miso, a traditional fermented bean or grain paste that has been around for over 1,000 years. Miso is widely used to flavour soups and broths in many Asian countries like China, Japan and Korea.

Tourque spent grain on the left and Farmery spent grain on the right. Can these grains help make Miso?

A warm soup with some miso flavouring. (Photo by Flickr user Stacy Spensley, Creative Commons Licence.)

From Breweries to Miso: Behind the Science
Miso develops a rich meaty flavour through a two-step fermentation process using molds and bacteria to break down the base-substrates into a rich cocktail of amino acids, free fatty acids and sugars.
The first step in the process is to create “koji” or “moldy grain” which provides a source of enzymes to the second step in the process—fermentation.
The typical starting material to make koji is polished rice, barley, or soy beans.
This research project aims to test the potential of spent grains (SG) from local brewers to act as the substrate for koji mold rather than using whole barley.
Unlike the traditional grains, spent grain is broken up and nutrients have been extracted during the wort production, so it is unknown if spent grain will provide sufficient nutrients for the koji molds to properly form or if suitable flavours develop.
As to how koji is traditionally made, the hydrated grains are inoculated with Aspergillus oryzae spores and allowed to grow for up to 48 hours to develop a thick white mat of mold, but stopped before spores develop. If spores develop, the koji has been left too long and may create flavour and safety concerns.

Putting it to the test: a microscopic view of the fomentation process, taken at the University of Manitoba, a partner in this research project.

The koji is then mixed in with cooked and cooled soybeans or barley and up to 12% salt, then inoculated again with a miso seed culture consisting of a mixture of beneficial yeasts and bacteria.
This mixture is allowed to ferment from a minimum of 2 months up to 3 years.
This process develops the rich flavours and colours associated with miso. Unpasteurized miso also provides a source of healthy gut bacteria or probiotics.
We look forward to seeing whether spent grains from local brewers can act as the substrate for koji mold rather than using whole barley.
You can follow the progress of this miso production trial @RRCResearch.
This project is supported by MAHRN and NSERC through Red River College.

$5.9 million for Red River College to bolster research in heavy vehicles and culinary innovation

September 8, 2016

Canadian Press Images/John Woods

Canadian Press Images/John Woods

Today, Red River College received the largest influx of research funding since founding its research enterprise in 2004. This new investment will allow Red River College to boost innovation capacity in Manitoba’s vehicle technology and food development sectors.
“This is a red-letter day for the College, our partners, and for Manitoba’s innovation outlook in general,” said Paul Vogt, president and CEO of Red River College. “These national awards acknowledge not only industry needs, but the ability of the College to deliver innovation services, and Manitoba as a place where leading edge products are developed.”
The Honourable MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour (on behalf of The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science) announced that Red River College will receive $3.6 million for advanced and sustainable vehicle technology research and $2.3 million for culinary innovation.
“These investments help post-secondary institutions such as Red River College build on their research strengths and forge closer ties to business partners in our community and province. Our support ensures that the work being done here will generate larger economic opportunities throughout Manitoba and will help grow the province’s middle class.”

Paul Vogt, President of Red River College Canadian Press Images/John Woods

Paul Vogt, President of Red River College Canadian Press Images/John Woods

“These new funds will be transformational for our research programs in the areas of vehicle technology and culinary innovation,” said Vogt. “Manitoba is already a major player in the world’s heavy vehicle sector, while we are undergoing a bit of a renaissance in terms of commercializing new food products. In both cases, these funds will help us work with producers to develop and test innovations.”
The awards have already sparked the establishment of a new Vehicle Technology & Energy Centre (VTEC) that will house MotiveLab, a 3,000 square foot research facility focused on supporting Manitoba’s heavy vehicle sector. MotiveLab will feature a 1,000 HP engine dynamometer test cell and a drive-in climatic chamber (large enough to fit a bus, or truck or farm vehicle) with an integrated 1,000 HP chassis dynamometer.
“MotiveLab will be a development and test facility that local industry partners have been asking for to support their R&D needs,” said Ray Hoemsen, executive director, Research Partnerships & Innovation, Red River College. “It will allow them to test performance in extreme climates (especially cold), the use of alternative fuels, emissions reductions, the use of new materials and components, and more – all right here in Manitoba. It will mean reduced time for product development and further incentive to innovate.”
On the culinary innovation side, the College has recently emerged as a key player in the Province – having already helped Manitoba companies and food producers to create new products , and innovative uses of locally grown food to create healthier menu items.
“Our advanced culinary research program will complement existing resources in the Province to enhance research opportunities for the entire food industry, from producers through to restaurants and cafeterias,” said Karen McDonald, chair, School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, Red River College. “The skills and experiences gained by our students will impact the sector’s ability to innovate for years to come.”
The College’s culinary research program was hatched in 2014 with the construction of the Paterson GlobalFood Institute. Since then, Red River College has engaged in projects with Granny’s Poultry, the Manitoba Pulse and Soybean Growers Association, Best Cooking Pulses, as well as a handful of small and startup businesses.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada is granting two awards of $2.3-million from their College and Community Innovation – Innovation Enhancement grant program and the Canada Foundation for Innovation is providing $1-million from their College Industry Innovation Fund program and an additional $300,000 from their Innovation Operating Fund.
VTEC and MotiveLab will be based in the Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre at Red River College’s Notre Dame Campus.
Check out more coverage of this story:
Winnipeg Sun
Winnipeg Free Press
Top Photo – From left, Ray Hoemsen, Executive Director of Research Partnerships & Innovation at Red River College (RRC), Guy Levesque, Vice-President, Programs and Performance, CFI, Bettina Hamelin, Vice-President, Research Partnerships, NSERC, MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, Paul Vogt, President of RRC, Karen McDonald, Chair of Hospitality and Culinary Arts at RRC and Dr. Mark Hoddenbagh, PhD, Vice-President, Strategic Development  at RRC are photographed at the Heavy Equipment Transportation Centre at Red River College in Winnipeg, Wednesday, September 7, 2016. MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, announced through the CCI Program, $32 million awarded to 32 projects that support university-college research collaboration, equipment, technology access centers and partnerships between colleges and companies. The Government of Canada is also investing nearly $3 million through the Canada Foundation for Innovation’s CIIF Program. Canadian Press Images/John Woods

Spilling the Beans: RRC featured in Canada’s Food & Beverage Processing Magazine

August 24, 2016


RRC Culinary students at tasting perogies made with bean flour.

For the past two years, research chefs with RRC’s Advanced Culinary Research program have been developing new applications and recipes to show the versatility and nutritional benefits of pulses. Pulses are edible dry legume seeds such as lentils, dry peas, dry beans, and chickpeas.  They provide non-animal protein, fibre, and complex carbohydrates which play a role in weight management, maintaining good cholesterol levels, and provide a good nutritional boost to many foods.
Through funded research projects with industry partners such as  Manitoba Pulse and Soy Growers Association (MPSG), Best Cooking Pulses, and a variety of small start-up ventures, the chefs have reformulated dishes to incorporate pulses in non-conventional ways. A number of these dishes have been consumer tested at PGI with excellent results.  Research funding has been provided by NSERC, IRAP, and the MPSG research funds.  With International Year of Pulses wrapping up in December 2016, the Culinary Research team can be proud of their role in increasing pulse consumption for the health of consumers in North America.
To learn more, download the publication:

NSERC feature: Gluten-free Turkeys from Freezer to Oven

November 24, 2015

Red River College’s partnership with Granny’s Poultry Co-operative was featured in the NSERC Research News recently. Read the full story here.

Gluten-free Turkeys from Freezer to Oven

Two new turkey products have been introduced to retail stores in the Prairies thanks to testing and tasting at Red River College’s (RRC) School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts.

Granny’s Poultry was able to launch two new products. The Cornbread Stuffed Turkey and an Unstuffed Slow Cooker Turkey Roast are now sold through a major retailer in over 100 stores across the Prairies. The products are the first on the market to be naturally gluten-free and cooked straight from the freezer without thawing.

“By working closely with chefs and students at the college on the final phase of development we were able to fine tune our unique corn bread stuffing formula and validate cooking methods,” said Wortzman. “After testing our finished product on a broad demographic we were able to confidently partner with a national retailer on an ambitious new product launch plan.”
Read more.

Red River College dishes up local beans in healthy cuisine innovation

January 9, 2015

WINNIPEG, MB – Red River College showcases its latest applied research in food innovation at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, this time incorporating bean flours and purees into healthy familiar dishes.
The showcase, entitled ‘Plating Pulses’ is the product of a research partnership between the College and the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association Inc. (MPGA), a not-for-profit organization representing 3,000 Manitoba farmers of edible pulses such as soybeans, dry beans and peas.


Kyle Friesen, president of MPGA, delivers his remarks.

“We are thrilled with the work the College has been doing to develop nutritional and delicious recipes that demonstrate to consumers how locally produced pulses can be incorporated into their everyday diets,” said Kyle Friesen, MPGA president.
Research has shown that only a half-cup of beans per day can reduce bad cholesterol, help manage hunger, and provide a sustainable source of protein.
“That is why we partnered with College,” said Friesen. “We know about the amazing health benefits of pulses, but we wanted to create more awareness among consumers and the Manitoba food industry by modifying traditional dishes that feature pulses, without affecting the taste or texture of the food.”
The dishes showcased include perogies made from bean flour dough, chicken potpie with a bean flour crust, and crème brulée with half the fat cut using navy bean puree.

Thai Banana Squash and Navy Bean Soup with a gluten-free bean cracker getting served up to showcase guests

Thai Banana Squash and Navy Bean Soup with a gluten-free bean cracker getting served up to showcase guests.

“This showcase is an excellent example of the role that our culinary institute plays in supporting the growth of Manitoba’s food producers,” said Ray Hoemsen, director, Applied Research and Commercialization, Red River College.  “Along with training the culinary innovators of tomorrow, RRC provides a wealth of applied research resources for local businesses, including recipe development, test marketing, and demonstrations.”
Red River College’s Paterson GlobalFoods Institute opened in 2013 and was supported with funding from the Paterson Foundation and Western Economic Diversification Canada to fill an innovation gap for food product development and service in Manitoba.
“Our Government is pleased to support the applied research being conducted at Red River College through the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute. The partnership between RRC and the Manitoba Pulse Growers Association demonstrates how locally grown produce and grains can be transformed into healthy and delicious foods,” said the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification.
Winnipeg is becoming a true leader in culinary excellence, with the recent opening of Red River College’s Paterson GlobalFoods Institute. World-class instruction, cutting-­edge technology and partnerships with key industry players prepare RRC students to become the next generation of influencers in the fields of culinary arts, professional baking and patisserie and hospitality and tourism management.