March 16, 2015

News Release

Manitoba's place as a leader in the global grains industry will be strengthened by a $2 million investment in new, specialized equipment at the Canadian International Grains Institute (Cigi) in Winnipeg, Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Agriculture, Food and Rural Development Minister Ron Kostyshyn announced today. 

"Our government is focused on what matters most to Canadians by creating jobs and opportunities," said Minister Ritz. "This investment will boost Cigi's ability to deliver high-quality food products to the marketplace, which will allow Canadian farmers and companies to diversify, grow and prosper, and help keep our economy strong."

With this funding, Cigi can replace outdated equipment and also create new capabilities. Once integrated into Cigi's existing facilities, the new equipment will be used to:

  • sort milling grains based on quality and grade, using near-infrared transmittance technology;
  • rapidly measure the quality of wheat, flour and semolina during milling, based on protein, moisture and other characteristics;
  • mill flour from extremely small samples, which is needed when new wheat varieties are being developed;
  • demonstrate how Canadian wheat can be used in making artisan breads;
  • make sheets of dough for pastries, rolls, crusts and other baked goods;
  • increase the variety of extruded products, like noodles, that can be made and analyzed;
  • add a laboratory-scale pasta dryer to allow more efficient testing;
  • measure the colour of pasta doughs to meet customer demands;
  • more effectively mill pulses and other crops in a Ferkar mill, the first of its kind in Manitoba;
  • measure how various production methods affect the flavour of foods made from pulse crops, using an infrared cooking system; and
  • measure the elasticity and stretchiness of dough, which indicates gluten content in wheat.

"When international customers need information on how to use Canadian grains in pasta, noodles, bread and other foods, Cigi is the recognized expert," said Minister Kostyshyn. "This new equipment will help ensure their research and training remains a reliable source of expert advice. At the same time, this investment reflects our government's ongoing commitment to re-establishing Manitoba's place as a leader in the international grains industry."

The ministers noted this investment is part of the Grain Innovation Hub, which was announced by the Canada and Manitoba governments in May 2014. Its goal is to leverage $33 million in government and industry funding to re-establish Manitoba as a leader in grain research, production and processing.

"We appreciate this significant contribution from the governments of Canada and Manitoba, which acknowledges the value of the grain industry in the province and gives Cigi the opportunity to expand its applied research activities in support of farmers, industry and the whole value chain," said Cigi CEO JoAnne Buth.

Cigi has promoted Canadian field crops around the world for more than 40 years. Hundreds of international grain customers visit its Winnipeg facility every year for specialized training programs and technical expertise. For more information about Cigi's role in the grains industry, visit

The federal and provincial governments are investing $176 million in Manitoba under Growing Forward 2, a five-year, federal-provincial-territorial policy framework to advance the agriculture industry, helping producers and processors become more innovative and competitive in world markets.

For more information on Manitoba's agricultural programs and services, follow the Twitter account at

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