In an effort to help local food and beverage industries advance, the B.C. government announced its progress in its plans to develop a science-based centre in Vancouver for this purpose.
The B.C. government will contribute $2.58 million over three years for an endowment fund that will support a B.C. food and beverage innovation professorship at UBC, who will be the academic and research director of a proposed UBC Food and Beverage Innovation Centre.
The provincial government has appointed UBC food-processing assistant professor Anubhav Singh as the first to take this position.
Singh has researched emerging technologies and organic and natural food-processing techniques that help to improve the nutrition, quality, capacity for processing, and shelf life of food.
The position will include leading research and development of food-processing technology and practices, working with industry on developing new applied innovation products, and developing new B.C. post-secondary programs in food and beverage technology.
The centre will be focused on innovation in the processing, packaging, and marketing of B.C. food and beverages.
“As an application-oriented scientist, my research strives to have an immediate impact in the next five years,” Singh stated in a news release. “One example from our research is exploring physical interventions like pressure, vacuum, light, sound, plasma, electricity to enhance food quality, and safety.”
According to the B.C. government, there are over 2,500 food processing companies in B.C., and the $10 billion B.C. food and beverage products produced each year represent 70 percent of agriculture and food revenues, and provide 30,000 jobs in B.C.