ST-NORBERT-D'ARTHABASKA, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - July 30, 2012) - Maple syrup producers in Quebec will benefit from new market opportunities and quality assurance innovations. Minister of State (Agriculture) Christian Paradis announced that Le Centre de recherche, de développement et de transfert technologique acéricole du Québec (Le Centre ACER) and the Fédération des Producteurs Acéricoles du Québec (FPAQ) will receive up to $1.7 million from the Agricultural Innovation Program (AIP) to research new market opportunities and develop a quality inspection system for Canadian maple products.
"Canadian maple syrup is acknowledged as the best in the world," said Minister Paradis. "Our Government's investment will help guarantee the quality and reputation of 100 per cent Canadian maple syrup and position the industry to tap new markets."
Le Centre ACER project will use up to $197, 790 in AIP funding to continue research started under a previous Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC) Developing Innovative Agri-Products (DIAP) program. The project will develop a functional, transportable, and standardized tool for the detection of maple syrup flavour defects and tampering.
"It is through this type of innovative project that the industry will be able to guarantee the highest standards of quality for consumers and that Canadian maple syrup will maintain its position as leader on international markets," said Serge Beaulieu, Chairman of the Board of Directors for Le Centre ACER.
FPAQ will also continue DIAP work researching and developing new market opportunities for maple products as an ingredient in other food products, as a low-glycemic index sweetener, and as a bioactive compound. This AIP investment of up to $1.5 million will speed up the transfer of results to producers and markets.
"The support provided to us by the Government of Canada will enable us to enhance knowledge on maple. It is through innovative and imaginative research projects such as maple sap stabilization and the discovery of the health benefits of maple products that we will manage to set ourselves apart on local and international markets," added Mr. Beaulieu, who is also Chairman of the Board of Directors of the FPAQ and a member of the advisory committee for the Canadian maple industry.
New detection tools will help further distinguish Canadian maple products from the competition by improving inspection and classification practices. They will ensure that products remain authentic, pure, and of high quality, and secure demand in a growing market. Research into new uses for maple syrup will increase demand in the sector and create more opportunities for producers.
These projects are funded under the AIP, a $50-million initiative announced as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan 2011. The AIP is part of the Government's commitment to help Canadian producers benefit from cutting-edge science and technology. The AIP boosts the development and commercialization of innovative new products, technologies, and processes for the agricultural sector. For more information about the AIP and other AAFC programs, please visit www.agr.gc.ca.
These projects are subject to the signing of contribution agreements.