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Agri-Health research receives funding


March 16, 2011
By Jim Knisley


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March 16, 2011 – The Governments of Canada and Manitoba are committing $406,000 in funding to the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network Inc. (MAHRN) to support the further research, development and commercialization of projects that identify links between food components and health.

March 16, 2011 – The Governments of Canada and Manitoba are committing $406,000 in funding to the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network Inc. (MAHRN) to support the further research, development and commercialization of projects that identify links between food components and health.
“Never before has the term ‘you are what you eat’ been more applicable – as the science of food meshes with the science of good health,” said Manitoba Agriculture Minister Stan Struthers. “Application of this research is helping to advance valuable diet-related solutions to a variety of chronic health conditions, which is good news for all of us.”
Funding of $281,300 is provided on a 60/40 basis through Growing Forward, a federal-provincial-territorial agreement that encourages innovations that will add to agricultural-based value chains. An additional $125,000 is provided through Manitoba Innovation, Energy and Mines.
“These funds will strengthen the core Manitoba-based research program developed through earlier MAHRN initiatives,” said MAHRN chair Peter Zahradka. “It will also enhance the capacity to advance several made-in-Manitoba discoveries that have huge potential for improving human health.”
MAHRN promotes Manitoba’s capacity and capabilities in the research, development and commercialization of functional foods and nutraceuticals. Anchored by world-class facilities including the Canadian Centre for Agri-Food Research in Health and Medicine located in the St. Boniface Hospital Research Centre, the Richardson Centre for Functional Foods and Nutraceuticals located at the Fort Garry campus of the University of Manitoba and the Food Development Centre located in Portage la Prairie. Research at these facilities helps link the health benefits of prairie-grown and made foods to diets that can reduce the incidence of chronic diseases.
Manitoba is a ‘one-stop shop’ for the testing and assessment of plant and animal-based bioactive compounds from the producer through clinical proof of safety and efficacy to product development and commercialization. More information is available on-line at www.mahrn.ca.
In March 2010, MAHRN released a study, “Benchmarking Study of the Existing Science Base Supporting a Canadian Climate Advantage Diet,” that identifies potential savings in excess of $19 billion annually in the current costs of treating chronic health conditions by incorporating functional foods and nutraceuticals (FFN) into people’s diets. In 2007, Manitoba’s total revenue from FFN was $158 million.
A listing of research projects is available on line at: www.gov.mb.ca/agriculture/mahrn/pdf/research_notes_feb_2010.pdf