Student researchers boost holistic product line

After developing his organic Broya bone broth product, entrepreneur Tim Sotoadeh had a new idea for a product to commercialize: a nitrite, soy, and gluten-free jerky snack. He turned to the Canadian Food & Wine Institute (CFWI) Innovation Centre at Niagara College to utilize both the culinary and food science expertise and state-of-the-art labs in order to get his new product to market.

“There was no way I was going to develop these products without the College… that’s a fact. I really don’t think my product could be differentiated enough,” says Sotoadeh. “Or even going to a co-packer on my own to do testing would cost me a lot of money and a lot of headaches.”

Guided by food experts with the CFWI Innovation Centre, the research team of students and graduates helped to expand Broya’s holistic line by developing a meat snack with shelf stability and with no additives, refined sugars, hormones or antibiotics. The team conducted extensive research, which included the development of more than 100 different flavour profiles. From those, three different flavours were chosen to develop for market: Sweet Chili Heat Beef Bites, Jalapeno & Honey Chicken Bites and Mango & Cayenne Pepper Turkey Bites.

The meat snacks are now in major grocery stores and other retail shelves across Ontario.

Sotoadeh was so impressed with the Innovation Centre that he partnered with the team again, as they secured funding from the Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) College Voucher for Technology Adoption (CVTA) program for an applied research project to assist with improving his original bone broth product.

He received comprehensive research assistance, complete with regulatory, production, packing, labeling, and product development. For example, recommendations were provided to select and monitor quality control parameters for food safety and food processing purposes, using the leading-edge testing equipment at the Innovation Centre labs.

For more information on food and beverage innovation projects, click here.