Kaslo Sourdough, a family-owned bakery that uses ancient sourdough fermentation technology to create pasta, is one of 11 organizations receiving funding to support innovative products in British Columbia’s agriculture and processed food and beverage sectors.
The family-owned operation has been baking their sourdough bread for customers in the Kootenay region since 1993, and now Kaslo Sourdough is showing that traditional practices can lead to innovation. Its project will study the health benefits of its novel sourdough fermented pasta — named Pasta Fermentata — including research to determine if it encourages lower blood-glucose responses, influences insulin levels, and benefits the gut microbiome (microorganisms in a particular environment).
“The Government of Canada is committed to investing in new and innovative agriculture and agri-food products,” said Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food. “This will help Canadian producers grow their businesses and stay competitive, creating good, well-paying jobs for Canadians.”
The company reports its fermented pastas have unique characteristics not found in conventional wheat pastas, such as improved digestibility and nutrient absorption, superior flavour and a faster cooking time. It offers 12 different flour combinations and six different shapes of its vegan and allergen-friendly pasta, providing a variety of options for their innovative product.
“A product as creative and unique as Pasta Fermentata is an example of how British Columbians are changing the agriculture and food processing sectors and gaining wider recognition,” said Lana Popham, Minister of Agriculture. “The Growing Forward 2 program supports innovation, competitiveness and market development in B.C.’s agriculture and food-processing sector, which supports producers on their pathway towards success.”
Kaslo Sourdough is receiving up to $75,000 in funding through the cost-shared Canada-B.C. Agri-Innovation Program under Growing Forward 2, to explore the potential health benefits of sourdough fermented pasta.
“We are thrilled to receive this funding as part of the Growing Forward 2 Program. As a small family business, it would have been very difficult to undertake this high-calibre research project to determine the benefits of our sourdough pastas,” said Heidi Lettrari, general manager of Kaslo Sourdough. “Now, we will have top-notch research to bolster our arguments that fermentation — how our grains and seeds are prepared — really matters when it comes to our foods. We look forward to producing unique, high quality pastas for families to share for years to come.”
The Canada-B.C. Agri-Innovation Program provided $12.7 million for 152 projects to support the commercialization and adoption of innovation projects under Growing Forward 2, a five-year (2013-2018), $3-billion, federal-provincial-territorial government investment in innovation, competitiveness and market development. The Canada-BC Agri-Innovation program is administered by the Investment Agriculture Foundation of British Columbia.
In July 2017, federal, provincial and territorial (FPT) ministers of agriculture reached agreement in principle on the key elements of the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, a five-year, $3-billion investment that will set a solid foundation for the future of Canada’s farmers and food processors, and will continue to help them grow, innovate and prosper. The partnership is set to launch on April 1, 2018.
For more information on Growing Forward 2 programs in British Columbia, visit: http://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/industry/agriculture-seafood/programs/growing-forward-2
For more information on Growing Forward 2, visit: http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/key-departmental-initiatives/growing-forward-2/?id=1294780620963
For more information on the Canadian Agricultural Partnership, visit: http://www.agr.gc.ca/eng/about-us/key-departmental-initiatives/canadian-agricultural-partnership/?id=1461767369849
A backgrounder follows.