The Mind-to-Market Award is made each year by the Ontario Centre of Excellence (OCE), the province’s pre-eminent research-to-commercialization organization. It recognizes the best collaboration between business and OCE-supported researchers, resulting in effective commercialization of leading-edge ideas and solutions.
Collaborative R&D between Moyers Apple Products of Lincoln, Ont. and University of Guelph food microbiologist Prof. Keith Warriner did exactly that.
The research partnership began following a 2014 Listeria outbreak in the caramel apple industry, originating in California. Moyers Apple Products sought a solution to a worldwide problem to ensure safe apple products.
Together Moyers and Warriner developed an ozone pre-treatment to inactivate food-borne pathogens (such as Listeria), with the introduction of antimicrobial gas, while reducing condensation on water-sensitive produce. The proof of concept was demonstrated at the University of Guelph; Moyers then had to scale the process up to commercial size.
As a Dec. 2017 article in The Grower noted, the American outbreak led to a Canadian invention – which has helped Moyers increase their market share, and moved them to the forefront of safe produce processing.
That same year, Moyers Apple Products and Prof. Warriner were recipients of a Leader in Innovation Award at the 2017 Premier’s Awards for Agri-Food Innovation Excellence.