Joe Mazza of Mazza Innovations shows the plant extraction system his company has been developing. Last week

Funding given for plant technology

A Summerland technology company has developed a new technology to extract nutrients from fruits and vegetables.

A Summerland technology company has developed a new technology to extract nutrients from fruits and vegetables using water instead of chemicals.

Joe Mazza of Mazza Innovations said the new business will help in the nutraceuticals market as consumers are looking for food products with health and medical benefits.

“One of our interests is to extract high-value products from the waste streams of the fruit and vegetable processing industries,” Mazza said. “We also want to provide extraction technology to companies that want to avoid the use of expensive and flammable chemical solvents.”

Mazza has been working on the concept for the past three years, the last year as a full-time effort.

He said the technology will result in better nutraceuticals. “We are not consuming chemicals our bodies are not used to,” he said.

Mazza, a former research scientist at the Summerland Research Centre, said several companies have already expressed interest in the new technology.

The federal government has provided an investment of $175,000 for the technology.

“This is a great example of what we are trying to achieve with our investments in innovation and commercialization,” MP Dan Albas said. “Our government is proud to support novel projects like this one which find environmentally-conscious ways to help farmers add value to their crops.”

The funding comes through the Agricultural Innovation Program, a $50 million initiative under Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2011.

Gordon Niesch, former Director General, Bioproducts and Bioprocesses with Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, said the funding from the federal government is important in developing technology.

He said there is a gap between technological concepts and reality. “Funding like this is critical to bridging that gap,” he said.



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