Mahone Bay firm wins $126,000 agriculture prize

by Keith Corcoran

A Mahone Bay company that produces nutritionally-enhanced wild blueberries will use its $126,000 contest winnings to better its fermented ingredient and complete additional work to get the product to market.

"This funding allows us to bring forward the timeline for the launch of our fermented wild blueberry product and move our business forward," Liam Tayler, the president of Clever Fruit Products, told LighthouseNOW.

"Our mission is to enhance the health and well-being of individuals by increasing the nutritive potency of fruit polyphenols through fermentation; the wild blueberry, already recognized for its nutritive potential, is the perfect fruit to act as the first product in what we hope to be an extensive line of fermented ingredients created to address specific health issues" said Taylor.

Clever Fruit Products recently captured the Wild Blueberry Solutions Challenge, a competition championed by Nova Scotia's Department of Agriculture and Wild Blueberry Producers' Association of Nova Scotia. The competition among Nova Scotia companies was designed to develop innovative value-added products and packaging solutions.

"The recognition by these two organizations of our product and business model demonstrates that they are invested in growing the value-added potential of the wild blueberry and fomenting the scientific side of the opportunity, not just growing a commodity market," Tayler said.

Clever Fruit Products's product development is science-based, led by Dalhousie professor Vasantha Rupasinghe, a functional food scientist and the Killam chair of Functional Food and Nutraceutical, who is working with Perennia Innovation Centre, the province said.

Wild blueberries are Nova Scotia's largest agriculture export, at $104.4 million in 2018.

"Our technology allows us to create high value export health products, which have the potential to add value to the Nova Scotia economy by taking not only whole fruit, but also fruit by-products and waste," Tayler explained to LighthouseNOW. "The end result is that our fermentation technologies can make any fruit better than the fruit itself, helping people to lead healthier lives and benefiting the local economy."

To learn more about Clever Fruit Products, check out https://cleverfruitproducts.com on the internet.

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