Prepared Foods October 18, 2004 enewsletter

UniversitDe Laval Rector Michel Pigeon inaugurated the Institute of Nutraceuticals and Functional Foods' (INAF) new research infrastructures. These installations, the result of a C$15.2 million ($12.1 million) investment, aim to strengthen INAF's position in research on the links between nutrition, health and disease prevention.

The investment made possible the renovation of existing laboratories, the building of new ones, and the acquisition of state-of-the-art equipment. Thus, INAF now possesses molecular biology and biochemical laboratories, a pilot laboratory for food processing, animal research facilities, and a laboratory dedicated to clinical trials comprising a calorimetric room and physiological analysis units. These rooms are equipped with instruments necessary for conducting innovative research: mass spectrometry systems, high-pressure liquid and gas chromatographs, as well as Canada's only gastric and intestinal dynamic simulator, which will allow scientists to better understand how beneficial molecules are absorbed in the body.

"When you consider that a substantial number of illnesses such as cancer, diabetes and heart disease are linked to what we eat, it becomes all the more important to encourage research that maximizes the preventative and curative potential of functional foods and nutraceuticals," declared Pigeon.

The development of these infrastructures was made possible by contributions from the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Minister of Education, UniversitDe Laval, the Minister of Economic and Regional Development and Research and the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Nutrition.

"Today, we pay tribute to partnerships and to everything we can accomplish by working together in order to succeed in a knowledge-based economy," declared Carmen Charette, first vice president of CFI. "Thanks to INAF's new infrastructures, leading scientists will have the means to conduct groundbreaking research projects."