Agro-food technologies | Innodal’s Great Strike

Innodal, which received the 2021 Food Innovation Award from the Food Transformation Council of Quebec (CTAQ), has just struck. Specializing in the elimination of microbiological food contamination with a natural antimicrobial agent, the company has signed a distribution agreement across Canada with Toronto-based Dempsey. Its co-founder Laurent Dallaire answers our questions.

Published at 8:42

Julie Roy
special cooperation

What is the mission of your organization?

In order to preserve and prevent pollution, among other things, Listeriaprocessing companies use chemicals such as sulfites, nitrites and salts. But this approach does not work 100%, and there are still 60 to 80 product recalls per year. This is a huge cost for the agri-food industry – from 10 to 30 million per processor. Our goal is to eliminate chemical additives and provide 99.9% protection to processed foods.

What is your innovation?

My partner, François Bédard, discovered how to make weapons with bacteria to fight infection. This is the principle of bioconservation, or the use of natural microflora. So we use bacteriocins, small proteins produced by probiotics. Our technology consists of spraying food with a thin layer of our antimicrobial solution or integrating it directly into the product. Our sprayers are easily integrated into the production line and do not require additional employees. We provide the entire automated system. For the consumer, our solution, which is natural, does not change the taste of food and does not spoil, so he never consumes it. This ensures that it does not need to be mentioned in the ingredient list.

On what products can your technology be applied?

Our innovation concerns 100% processed products. Our first customer was Fumoir Grizzly who used it to protect his smoked salmon. It is no less effective in the processing of crab products, 100% of the processing of which is intended for export. We also focus on all plant-based products, such as processed lettuce, alfalfa, and small plants like mushrooms. This market is often subject to recalls because there is no cooking, only washing, which increases the risk of infection because there is always the possibility that someone forgets to wash their hands and pollutes the entire production chain. Our latest target is meat products such as dry and fermented sausages.

What are your next goals?

We are currently developing two products that will fight coli and salmonella. We expect Canadian sales to exceed one million over the next few years, allowing us to quadruple our turnover. We have also applied for accreditation with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States, equivalent to Health Canada, to be able to sell our innovations to our southern neighbors for three years. In two years we have to go from 10 to 20 employees. Yes, for agri-food processing companies, the solution is more expensive than nitrite, but still cheaper than a recall, and we provide a quality benefit and a quasi-guarantee of risk-free exports.