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Research Partnerships and Innovation

Research Partnerships & Innovation

Culinary

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
MyToba
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

IMG_1555

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: http://blogs.rrc.ca/ar/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/spilling-the-beans.pdf

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.
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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.

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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.

Winners of the Great Manitoba Food Fight awarded for innovation and simplification

May 7, 2014

A savoury cone stuffed with pork topped with Cornell Creme's Honey Mustard Ice Cream was one of the many innovative canapés created by RRC culinary students at the Great Manitoba Food Fight

A savoury cone stuffed with pork topped with Cornell Creme’s Honey Mustard Ice Cream was one of the many innovative canapés created by RRC culinary students at the Great Manitoba Food Fight

Three innovative Manitoba food businesses received a financial boost at this past weekend’s 8th Annual Great Manitoba Food Fight (GMFF).
The culinary competition went down on Saturday at Jane’s Restaurant, located within Red River College’s Paterson GlobalFoods Institute.

Jill Tanner won the Gold Prize Package to further develop and market her Jamore! Real Fruit Spread

Jill Tanner won the Gold Prize Package to further develop and market her Jamore! Real Fruit Spread

The Gold Prize Package, featuring $13,000 worth of marketing, packaging and development services went to Jill Tanner for her Jamore! Real Fruit Spread. Tanner’s preserve proved that sometimes less is more in the food world, as her four-ingredient product (it only contains blueberries, prunes, water and chia seeds) proved to be the standout for the judges.
The Silver Package, with an approximate value of $8,500, was awarded to Bessie Hatzitrifonos for her Bessie’s Best Tapenade while the Bronze Package, at an approximate value of $4,000, was awarded to farmer-come-food developer Amy Nikkel, Canada’s only producer of gluten-free, organic oats for her Adagio Acres brand Rolled Naked Oats.
Red River College students were also part of the program as ten of our future chefs made some innovative canapés highlighting the ten competing Manitoba made products.
“The students were chosen based on their interest, creativity and drive to work with new products – so there was no shortage of volunteers,” said Keith Muller, Dean, RRC School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts. “They get to be the first chefs to use a new and innovative product and hopefully these are the products that they will help to promote in the industry when they transition into the workplace,” Muller continued.

Daniel Coombs took first place in the culinary student competition with his pork tenderloin canapé featuring Naked Rolled Oates

Daniel Coombs took first place in the culinary student competition with his pork tenderloin canapé featuring Naked Rolled Oates

While my personal favourite was student Don Vavroll’s use of Cornell Creme’s Honey & Mustard Ice Cream in a savoury cone with pork, red pepper and black sesame (yes, pork and ice cream together — it was incredible), first place in the student competition went to Daniel Coombs for his canapé involving Naked Rolled Oates and pork tenderloin; second went to student Amy Smith for her well balanced bite which buttressed Bessie’s Best Tapenade with pineapple and a soft, thyme infused cheese; while student Ramina Ritual took third for her transformation of Virginia Enriquez’s Fish Sausage into a fish slider.
This is the first year that the GMFF has partnered with RRC’s School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts.
A full list of competitors and their products can be found here.
About the author: Mike Green is a food writer and journalist in Winnipeg. He recently finished 5th on MasterChef Canada.  

Innovative Manitoba food products fight it out this weekend at Jane’s Restaurant

May 2, 2014

Food fight photo
While we hope none of the competitors actually drop their gloves, we’re certain that your taste buds will take some tasty punches at this year’s Great Manitoba Food Fight (GMFF).
The 8th annual event, which Red River College (RRC) will host at Jane’s Restaurant on Saturday, May 3, will feature 10 entrepreneurial culinary competitors whose new food products will duke it out for $25,500 to help commercialize their enterprise.
RRC’s Culinary Arts students will also be getting in on the action with ten of our aspiring chefs competing for the Best New Recipe Award with signature dishes featuring the competitor’s products.

“Cooking is all about creativity and innovation and the functional food of tomorrow is the innovation of today,” said Keith Muller, Dean, RRC School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts. “Companies are always looking for new products that can be commercialized and taken to market. Entrepreneurs have the business expertise but chefs have the creative ideas. Combining the two parties through the Great Manitoba Food Fight is a natural fit.”
Over its eight year history the GMFF — which is put on by the province’s Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives (MARFI) — has shown just how diverse and innovative Manitoba’s agriculture and epicurean section can be; past participants include a range of products from fireweed honey sourced in the north, to birch syrup from the Interlake, to prosciutto made from heritage hogs in Pilot Mound.
This year features a crop of ten budding food-based businesses from across the province whose artisanal, locally sourced products have been chosen based on their applications and business plan scores.
You’ll see and taste what Manitoba has to offer, from whole grain beer bread, to fish sausage, to ultra-creamy ice cream, while a panel of expert judges will decide who takes home gold ($13,000), silver ($8,500) and bronze ($4,000).
For the RRC School of Hospitality and Culinary Arts, which is housed in the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, working with the GMFF this year was a perfect fit, as the partnership can only amplify Manitoba’s food production scene.
“The use of local and sustainable products is the philosophy of the School,” said Muller. “It is a major focus of our business plan to support local business and fuel Manitoba’s economy.”
The GMFF runs all day starting at 9:15 a.m.; while at the reception from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m., attendees (for $20) will be able to sample the products and student dishes.

New Poultry Products Developed at RRC

November 5, 2013

Showing off a featured dish at Jane’s Restaurant using Granny’s Finest Poultry Products. (Pictured L-R: Stan Chung, VP Academic & Research, Craig Evans, CEO, Granny’s Poultry and Chef Jeffrey Brandt, Janes Restaurant.)

Showing off a featured dish at Jane’s Restaurant using Granny’s Finest Poultry Products. (Pictured L-R: Stan Chung, VP Academic & Research, Craig Evans, CEO, Granny’s Poultry and Chef Jeffrey Brandt, Janes Restaurant.)

Red River College’s (RRC’s) Hospitality and Culinary Arts program is partnering with Granny’s Poultry Farmers Cooperative to develop products in a commercial kitchen to be taken to market.
Chefs and Students are developing recipes and testing Granny’s new chicken that is fed flax, alfalfa and ginseng through the Sungrown Feeding Program, labeled as Granny’s Finest. They are assisting in getting the product ready for market through applied research in a state-of-the-art kitchen at RRC’s Paterson GlobalFoods Institute. Throughout development, the products will be featured in Jane’s Restaurant, an urban upscale restaurant located in the culinary school, as well as in many other College kitchens.
“Partnering with an industry-leader like Granny’s Poultry benefits Red River College culinary students and researchers through the opportunity to conduct food technology research in the state-of-the-art institute,” said Stan Chung, vice-president, academic and research, Red River College. “RRC’s new Paterson GlobalFoods Institute offers the expertise and resources to industry partners who see an opportunity to apply their product in a commercial/education setting for market consumption.”
“Having the ability to test, develop and then consume Granny’s product in our local market is advantageous to many stakeholders,” said Craig Evans, CEO of Granny’s Poultry Farmers Cooperative. “We are proud to collaborate with farmers, students, education, government and distributors to provide a product that is truly the finest for consumers”.
“Having the ability to test, develop and then consume Granny’s product in our local market is advantageous to many stakeholders,” said Craig Evans, CEO of Granny’s Poultry Farmers Cooperative. “We are proud to collaborate with farmers, students, education, government and distributors to provide a product that is truly the finest for consumers”.
Commercial kitchen laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment at RRC’s newly opened Paterson GlobalFoods Institute will be used to prepare all four new products. Granny’s newest products will be cooked and tested to ensure moisture retention, texture, and, most importantly, flavours remain consistent.
“The Harper Government is pleased to be part of this exciting state-of-the-art culinary facility,” said the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification. “The work Red River College is doing at the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute demonstrates the results that can be achieved when government, industry and academia work together to bring a concept from test bench to market.”
Granny’s Finest chicken is available at Miller’s Meats starting November 8th. Some recipes developed by the culinary school are currently available on the menu at Jane’s. Reservations for Jane’s Restaurant can be made at www.janesrestaurant.ca
Winnipeg is becoming a true leader in culinary excellence, with the recent opening of Red River College’s new 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.
The Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada is supporting this research with a $25,000 grant through its College and Community Innovation Program. Through a 2012 investment from Western Diversification, the federal government supported the addition of research infrastructure for the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute with a $2-million investment.

Red River College Home to New Food Testing Centre

January 24, 2013

Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, under construction in 2011

Manitoba’s Red River College is poised to become one of Canada’s top culinary and food-testing centres thanks to an investment by WD in its new Paterson GlobalFoods Institute.

The funding enabled the college to purchase specialized food science equipment for its Paterson Institute, scheduled to open January 2013 in the historic Union Bank Tower in Winnipeg’s Exchange District.

“Our Government’s top priority is creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Yelich. “This investment will help ensure the right conditions to develop, test, and commercialize products to bring to market in the food industry.”

Ray Hoemsen, Director of Applied Research and Commercialization at Red River College, said the new equipment’s advanced technological capabilities are helping establish the college as one of Canada’s leading culinary and foodtesting institutes.

“We now have one of the best-equipped facilities in terms of food preparation and advanced technology, particularly in the key areas of testing, tasting, preparation and storage for commercial use,” said Mr. Hoemsen.

Equipped with this new technology, the College’s students and faculty will work directly with local industry to develop and test new food products and processes, ensuring healthier and
tastier foods for Canadians.

By working in partnership with private industry, the College is translating its knowledge and technology into new commercial food products for large
markets and creating new jobs.

As a result, Red River College is helping create new business opportunities by boosting the competitiveness of Manitoba’s food and beverage processing industry – an industry that represents close to one quarter of the province’s manufacturing output, and $4 billion annually in shipments.

Excerpted from Western Economic Diversification Canada’s Fall 2012 Access West Newsletter. Click here to view the full document.

Federal Government Investing $2 Million in Paterson GlobalFoods Institute

June 12, 2012

Red River College – and Manitoba’s food industry – are getting a big boost.
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) announced Friday that the federal government is investing $2 million to expand research capabilities at the new Paterson GlobalFoods Institute at Red River College’s (RRC’s) Exchange District Campus. RRC representatives joined the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification to make the announcement inside the nearly complete building, which will soon be home to RRC’s Culinary Arts and Hospitality programs.
By giving RRC access to advanced equipment for testing new food products and processes, this funding will develop the opportunities for students and faculty, while growing the Manitoba food industry. Adding another branch to its Applied Research activities, RRC will work with local organizations in the food sector, offering College facilities and expertise to help spark innovation and create business opportunities.
When complete, the Paterson GlobalFoods Institute is anticipated to be one of Canada’s premier culinary institutes and a new standard for heritage-building restoration.
For more information on the funding, check out the WD news release.