Governments And Industry Collaborate On Made-In-Manitoba Foods With Health Benefits
The Canada and Manitoba governments have invested approximately $135,000 with the Flax Council of Canada to develop four nutritious, flax-based food products that may also help lower cholesterol, Federal Agriculture Minister Lawrence MacAulay and Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler announced today.
“This project has built on many of Manitoba’s strengths in the agricultural and research sectors, from the farm gate all the way to food development and commercialization,” said Eichler. “This collaboration has resulted in four new healthy and delicious food products, made from flax grown on the Prairies by farm families, developed in our own world-class facilities. We are proud to be part of this project, which is already helping to improve the health of many Manitobans.”
Four foods made with ground flaxseed were created and tested with this funding including a muffin, bread, smoothie mix and nutrition bar. This work was done at the Food Development Centre in Portage la Prairie, an internationally recognized centre for developing and commercializing food products, with a focus on using ingredients grown and made in Manitoba.
The Flax Council of Canada has also invested $54,000 in this project. The muffin recipe is the first product ready for consumers and, after a pilot project that began in September 2014, they have been added to the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) menu. They are also available to patients and residents daily in many personal care homes and hospital sites throughout Winnipeg.
“The creation of a flax muffin recipe with 13 grams of flax that meets the requirements to make a health claim and is tasty enough for the WRHA to adopt is a tremendous accomplishment,” said Don Kerr, president, Flax Council of Canada. “Through our partnership, we can highlight the benefits of flax and its ability to improve patient well-being on a practical level. We hope this is a stepping stone for future successes with our other flax-enriched foods.”
This year, an estimated 50,000 muffins will be served in the health region.
“This muffin is an excellent source of energy, low in saturated fats and provides five grams of protein and four grams of fibre per muffin,” said Kathleen Richardson, chief nutrition and food services officer, WRHA. “The small package is important to help meet the nutritional needs of those in hospital or older adults who may have smaller appetites.”
The recipe is available online at www.healthyflax.org. The muffins for the health authority are locally made at The Donut House, a commercial bakery in Winnipeg.
Funding for this project was provided through the Growing Forward 2 – Growing Actions program. It invests in industry-led initiatives to increase competitiveness and create innovative solutions for agricultural organizations including market development, trade advocacy and research projects. For more information about Growing Actions and other programs, visit www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture under Growing Forward 2.
The federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million in Manitoba under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.
For more information on Manitoba’s agricultural programs and services, follow the Twitter account at www.twitter.com/MBGovAg.