Guelph Food Research Centre
The Guelph Food Research Centre is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's network of 19 research centers. Located in Guelph, Ontario, the Centre specializes in food safety, quality and nutrition, and is committed to ensuring that food produced in Canada continues to be among the safest and of the highest quality in the world.
The GFRC was established in 1997, with the intent to put in place a federal capacity in food research at the heart of the largest Canadian concentration of expertise and infrastructures dedicated to food research and development. The GFRC supports a sustainable and profitable agri-food sector in Canada by carrying out world class research in food safety and quality, proactively mitigating food safety threats as well as generating fundamental and applied knowledge that enable the Canadian agri-food sector to develop health promoting food that respond to consumer needs, whereby generating added value throughout the food chain.
Research covers all aspects of food production, from the field to the fork. In addition to its focus on food quality and safety, much of the centre's work is exploring the potential for conventional foods to offer nutritional and other therapeutic benefits. Scientists are also developing innovative methods to reduce food-borne biological and chemical hazards that may be present in farm commodities, fresh market and processed foods.
In line with the food research vocation of the GFRC, the focus of the work will remain unchanged for the next 10 years and will include three main areas:
- Mitigation of food safety risks in food production systems;
- Development of food with enhanced health benefits; and,
- Structure and functional characteristics of food and food ingredients.
Areas of Research
The Guelph Food Research Centre (GFRC) specializes in studies on food safety and quality and the development of functional foods that contain health-giving properties. Researchers are also studying ways to help the agri-food industry reduce processing costs and add value to agricultural commodities for both food and non-food uses.
New Opportunities from Bioresources
- Conducting research on novel bioprocesses for separating and modifying agricultural and agri-food products that will have enhanced properties and commercial potential
- Characterizing and identifying agricultural bioproducts for human, animal and industrial applications
Safety of Foods for Canadians
- Methods for preventing food-borne hazards through the use of innovative natural controls and strategies
- Exploring technologies to control toxins in foods and livestock feeds
- Finding ways to preserve safety, quality and nutrition of processed and packaged foods
- Identifying food-borne bacteria and viruses that cause illness in humans and animals
Health and Wellness through Innovation
- Preserving the functional and nutraceutical properties of foods before, during and after processing
- Investigating natural antioxidants and other health enhancing nutrients as anti-cancer agents
- Conducting research on bioactive elements and the bio-availabilities of phytochemicals (plant chemicals with potential disease-preventing compounds), and natural health products from Canadian crops and plants
Facts Figures and Facilities
- 23 research scientists and a total staff of 56
- Includes a specialized Molecular Biology Research Unit with equipment and expertise for studying food DNA, and the monitoring and tracking of harmful food-borne bacteria
- A food processing pilot plant with traditional and novel processing equipment (high pressure, temperature, ultraviolet, ozone) used to study food processing and product safety
- Located adjacent to:
- University of Guelph Research Park
- Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs headquarters
- Public Health Agency of Canada- Zoonoses Laboratories
- Many Canadian and provincial head offices of producer groups and agri-food industry partners
93 Stone Road West
Director of Operations: Puni Piyasena
Director of Research and Development: Gabriel Piette