Acadia University researcher Dr. Matthew McSweeney (School of Nutrition & Dietetics) was recently granted a John R. Evans Fund (JELF) award from the Canadian Foundation for Innovation. Announced today at 1:30 ADT by the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Dr. McSweeney will receive $78,582 for his project “Characterizing Food for Health.”
“I want to congratulate all of today’s recipients who will now have access to state-of-the-art tools and research infrastructure that will allow them to explore some of our most pressing questions,” said Duncan. “The answers they find contribute to the evidence our government needs to build a stronger economy and a more prosperous future for all Canadians.”
Roseann O’Reilly Runte, President and CEO of the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, commented, “Investing in a new generation of research talent is more important than ever before for Canada. The Canada Foundation for Innovation is making it possible for our brilliant researchers to remain in Canada, to build our economy, and to contribute to solving the problems of the world.”
Characterizing Food for Health
Comprehensive characterization of food consists of measuring both the sensory properties and chemical components of a given food product. While Acadia University currently maintains excellent sensory evaluation facilities, CFI-JELF funds will be used to support the expansion of Acadia's Centre for the Sensory Research of Food to include chemical analysis infrastructure. “Characterizing Food for Health” is a $196,456 project. CFI has contributed $78,582, with matching contributions coming from other funding sources.
As Director of the Centre for the Sensory Research of Food (CSRF), Dr. McSweeney develops novel food products using new processing methods (3D food printing), innovative ingredients (alternative grains), and unwanted foods (wasted produce leftover in farmers' fields). When developing new foods, complete characterization (both sensory and chemical) is essential for understanding the benefits of new products for consumers. The addition of this new chemical analysis infrastructure will allow Dr. McSweeney and the CSRF to quantify the nutritional profile of a broad spectrum of food—from raw ingredients to new value-added products—and determine how 3D printing may affect food composition.
The proposed research will involve collaboration with the local food industry. Personnel trained in the complete characterization of food will acquire unique and highly marketable skills for future employment.
The John R. Evans Leaders Fund
The John R. Evans Leaders Fund enables a select number of an institution’s excellent researchers to undertake leading-edge research by providing them with the foundational research infrastructure required to be or become leaders in their field. In turn, this enables institutions to remain internationally competitive in areas of research and technology development, aligned with their strategic priorities.
This fund also offers institutions the opportunity to create competitive research support packages in the form of infrastructure and a portion of the operating and maintenance costs, coupled with direct research costs from partner organizations.