ABBOTSFORD – B.C. raspberry producers will increase their competitiveness by developing new products with the support of the governments of Canada and British Columbia.

The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, on behalf of federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, and Randy Hawes, MLA for Abbotsford-Mission, on behalf of B.C. Minister of Agriculture, Don McRae, announced today an investment of over $120,000 to NuWave Research Inc. to develop a new raspberry drying process.

“Our government remains focused on creating jobs, growth, and long-term economic prosperity for Canadians,” said Minister Fast. “This new technology will help B.C. fruit growers increase their competitiveness, profitability and sustainability by creating new market opportunities and mitigating their on-farm energy consumption.”

“Our government’s Agrifoods Strategy highlights the use of innovation to produce high quality and high value products, as well as expanding domestic and international sales of B.C. foods,” said Hawes. “B.C.’s raspberry growers have a history of using technology to build their product lines and markets, and this project is a great example of government working with growers to develop those opportunities.”

NuWave Research Inc. will develop and demonstrate Mobile Continuous Microwave Drying (CVMD) protocols for commercial-scale production at their Burnaby pilot plant and at Lally Farms. Research results will help growers generate new products, incorporate new technology, establish best practices, and will also lead to a reduction in the energy consumed in freezing and storing raspberries. Ultimately, this project may also benefit growers interested in adapting the CVMD process for apples, grapes and other fruits.

“We are pleased to receive government funding for this project that will benefit B.C. raspberry producers by demonstrating the commercial feasibility of using waves of radiant energy to remove water and stabilize food at the farm,” said Greg Stromotich CEO of NuWave Research Inc. “This will result in new, highly functional food products that can be sold worldwide.”

NuWave Research Inc.’s technology offers the potential of changing the dynamics of food stabilization and distribution. At the point of harvest food can be dehydrated, without damaging the nutrients, and stored and shipped at a fraction of the cost. These products can then be consumed providing the original nutritional value in a crispy snack.

Funding for this project is being provided under the Canada-British Columbia Growing Forward agreement. The Canada-B.C. Agri-Innovation supports projects that lead to innovation and enhanced profitability and competitiveness, both on-farm and throughout the rest of the supply chain. The program is delivered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation (IAF) on behalf of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture.