On Thursday, the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, Marie-Claude Bibeau, announced the 18 semi-finalists selected under the Novel Technologies Streams to find new solutions to food waste. Bibeau met virtually with the semi-finalists and listened to their food waste reduction solutions.

"The Food Waste Reduction Challenge is bringing together innovators from across the country who have new ideas and perspectives for creating a more sustainable food system in Canada. Every submission received has tremendous potential to help tackle the problem of food waste head on. I would like to congratulate all the semi-finalists and wish them best of luck as they compete in the next phase of the Challenge,” said Bibeau.

The Challenge, launched in November 2020, aims to deliver high-impact solutions to food waste in Canada. The Novel Technologies Streams is focused on technological solutions to food waste to extend the life of perishable food, transform food waste and accelerate their advancement in the Canadian market.

With the Government of Canada’s investment for this initiative under the Food Policy for Canada, the second round of the Challenge attracted 238 applications from innovators across Canada and around the world. The 18 semi-finalists’ entries span a diverse range of areas including green chemistry to create natural additives, edible coatings, or bioplastics.

Each semi-finalist will receive $100,000 and move on to the prototype development stage of the Challenge. Over the next eight months, semi-finalists will build or complete an existing prototype of their technology and report on their solution’s effectiveness. A total of six finalists for the Novel Technologies Streams will be selected, each receiving up to an additional $450,000, with finalists competing to win one of two grand prizes of up to $1 million.

The semi-finalists from the prairies were from Manitoba and Alberta.

Manitoba's Carbon Lock Technologies based in Winnipeg - solution converts food waste into a stable form of biocarbon that sequesters atmospheric CO2, prevents future landfill methane emissions, and supports sustainable agriculture.

Semi-finalists from Alberta include Climacteric Control Solutions, inc. out of Edmonton, the University of Calgary and the University of Lethbridge.

Climacteric Control Solutions - this solution involves a novel series of ethylene-selective catalysts have been developed that can continuously
remove trace amounts ethylene from refrigerated, humid air.

University of Calgary solution involves technology converts food waste
into an advanced energy saving material that can trap the heat escaping a home or building and release it when needed, generating savings in heating and cooling.

The University of Lethbridge project evaluates the utility of commercially available silage inoculants in ensiling and extending the shelf-life of retail
food waste and food processing by-products for animal feed.

Every year, over half of Canada's food supply is wasted, and nearly $50 billion of that wasted food is avoidable.