Effective use of a variable speed blower fan on a mechanical wild blueberry harvester for increased debris separation and berry quality

Wild blueberries are an important crop to this region as this is the only area that wild blueberries are naturally occurring. The changes in wild blueberry crop conditions caused by improved management practices over the past decade has caused increased plant density and leaf foliage. This extra foliage has made it more difficult for the harvester operator to clean debris (leaf, soil, sticks, etc.) from the blueberries before they are placed in the loading bins.

Validation of food allergen analytical methods and their incorporation in food process control practices – aiming for more predictable, risk-based quality management systems for processed foods

The planned research aims to validate food allergen and gluten testing tools, and their incorporation in novel quality-management systems used in food production. It will leverage existing methodologies developed by r-Biopharm Canada (r-BPC), over the past decade through its parent company.

Wireless Network Planning and Robust Optimization for Advanced Irrigation Systems

This project is designated to the development of information and communication systems for advanced irrigation systems. An optimal wireless network planning algorithm will be developed to select the optimal locations for relay station placement at a minimum cost. Due to the potential GPS measurement errors in the irrigation area, robust optimization technique will be applied for the optimal irrigation command calculation.

Alkaline treated straw and micro machine technology to improve digestive health and profitability of feedlot cattle

This research will investigate use of calcium oxide treated straw (CaOS) to increase fibre levels in wheat-based feedlot cattle finishing diets. In vitro total gas production will be measured to determine the ideal treatment protocol for creation of CaOS. Further in vitro work will compare fibre digestibility of CaOS to untreated straw, barley silage and corn silage as an indicator of nutritional quality. A feeding trial using yearling steers will measure changes in animal performance when 10% silage is replaced with 12% CaOS in finishing diets.

Impact of dietary fibre and immune challenge on threonine requirements and pig robustness

Sub-clinical disease results in reduced growth and less efficient use of nutrients, resulting in substantial impact on profitability of pork producers. With the elimination of in-feed antibiotics for growth promotion it is increasingly important to understand the interaction between nutrition and health and nutrient requirements during disease challenge events. Feeding high-fibre feedstuffs reduces the efficiency of utilization of dietary threonine for growth in pigs due to an increase in endogenous threonine loss as a result of increased mucin production.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for quantifying natural disaster damages in crops of Alberta

The agriculture sector is one of the major pillars in the Canadian economy based in cereal, pastureland for cattle, and biofuel (wheat, canola and barley), and was estimated to be a $7 billion industry in 2015 in Alberta. It is also one of the most economically risky activities since the value of the yield is affected by market fluctuations and it is often affected by extreme weather episodes, especially hail storms in the summer, that provoke important yield losses.

Farming Diversity: Women’s Past, Present, and Future in Canadian Egg Farming

In 2011, Statistics Canada reported that women comprised only 25% of total farmer numbers. At the same time, an aging male farmer population is causing concern that if the farming sector does not broaden its appeal among women, there will be significant economic implications for its future development. The Egg Farmers of Canada wants to encourage more women to take up egg farming and support existing female producers in their leadership goals, but more knowledge about the systemic reasons for women’s limited participation in the industry is needed.

Development of new seaweed based plant biostimulant products and understanding their mode of action

Plant biostimulant is a new class of agricultural input that has gained importance and wide acceptance in the last few years. Acadian Seaplants Limited, a marine biotechnology company, manufactures liquid and powdered Ascophyllum nodosum extract plant biostimulants. To maintain the leadership in plant biostimulants ASL has embarked on developing new A. nodosum based biostimulatns. This project will focus on new product development by adopting novel seaweed processing technologies, creating blends of seaweed extracts and functional ingredients.

Genomic methods for herbal supplement quality assurance

It is critical for consumers to be assured that Natural Health supplements being purchased commercially are of high quality and contain the ingredients as listed on labels. For regulatory agencies to make such assurances, it is important that third-party product testing be carried out to identify the presence of the appropriate botanicals and their active ingredients. This project will begin to address the need for standardized authenticated reference materials from which appropriate quality control tests can be developed.

One-Way Degassing Valve Design, Function and Application in Coffee Packaging

The purpose of this study is to gather information relating to the one-way degassing valves used within the coffee industry in order to improve upon current designs. This will be achieved through studying the opening/closing properties of commercial valves, as well as using a model system to elucidate the effects of valve components on these properties, as a function of pressure, rate of pressure change, and temperature. The study will also investigate flow behavior of different food grade sealing fluids within the model valve system, as a function of pressure and temperature.

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