OSCII Theme E: Value Adding

Adding value to capture markets through innovative processing solutions

Canadian organic products must be positioned to seize opportunities and compete in an expanding global marketplace. At the same time, Canadian organic products must be clearly identified as part of a leading production system consistent with the values of a progressive consumer base. Processing of organic products has been limited by insufficient volume, concern with organic processing protocols in large scale facilities, and lack of innovation in technological solutions to food processing challenges. This Theme comprises a suite of innovative and complimentary activities designed to advance key aspects of organic processing to increase competitiveness of the Canadian organic sector.

Organic food processors continue to face more obstacles than their conventional counterparts in bringing new foods to market. These challenges are a disincentive for organic facilities and even co-packing lines. Organic food processors must develop consistent and safe, flavourful, and appetizing food products with extended shelf-life, and without artificial preservatives, colourants or high sugar or sodium levels.

Innovation in appropriate technological solutions to targeted food processing challenges is needed to advance this sector. For example: the fruit and vegetable sector will benefit from new post-harvest protocols to inhibit browning, development of natural antimicrobial agents to promote microbial safety and shelf-life that can be added to the Permitted Substances List, and exploration of new technologies to optimize extraction of certified organic bioactive compounds/nutraceuticals from fruit and vegetables; the organic oilseeds and grains sector would be benefit from organic, non-GMO yeasts and additives to extend shelf life for organic breads and baked products, and organic-compliant products for oil extraction; the organic dairy sector would benefit from new methods of pasteurization to promote favour enhancement and longer shelf-life, along with non-GMO enzymes for new dairy products. The demand for organic cured meat is especially pronounced, but a formulation from natural ingredients and a protocol are needed to effectively replace or reduce nitrite/nitrate in organic cured meats from the standpoints of sensory quality and safety. By addressing these challenges, innovative new products and enhanced volume of existing processed products from Canadian organic food processing facilities is expected to expand to meet growing demand.

This Theme includes complimentary activities that will:

  • Explore innovative new technologies to overcome barriers to expansion of organic food processing in the dairy, meat, fruit and vegetable, grains and oilseeds sectors (Activity E.50).
  • Explore innovative new technologies to overcome barriers to expansion of organic food processing and nutraceutical industries in the organic fruit and vegetable sector (Activity E.51).
  • Explore alternatives to nitrates for organic food processing in the meat sector (Activity E.52).

Activities of Theme E

  • Activity E.50: Identifying and overcoming limiting factors to organic food processing in Canada
  • Activity E.51: Organic production of vegetable extracts for food markets and nutraceuticals
  • Activity E.52: Alternative approaches to direct addition of nitrite/nitrate for organic cured meats