Red River College and local microbreweries showcase new product on tap

RRC’s culinary research program growing in partnership with industry and government

Red River College, two local microbreweries and other key partners unveiled a new culinary invention today – miso made from spent grain – at an event highlighting the college’s growing Culinary Research and Innovation program and its impact on food creation in Manitoba.

Partners from the province, federal government and industry, were among the special guests at today’s miso soup and snacks taste testing at Paterson GlobalFoods Institute, the hub of RRC’s culinary research and education activities.

Delicious sampling of one of the many culinary creations unveiled at today's event.

Delicious sampling of one of the many culinary creations unveiled at today’s event.

“This miso project is a really innovative partnership that links Manitoba’s dynamic microbrewery industry with local culinary arts and research,” said Paul Vogt, president of RRC. “I’d also like to thank the provincial and federal governments for their support of our research efforts and for joining us here today.”

RRC teamed up with microbreweries Farmery and Torque to successfully test and utilize spent grains from the beer brewing process to produce miso, putting a new twist on an ancient culinary tradition. Other partners included the Manitoba Agri-Health Research Network (MAHRN) and the University of Manitoba’s Food Science department.

“The Government of Canada is proud to support scientific research and innovation that creates opportunities for the agri-food industry,” said Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Minister Lawrence MacAulay . “Finding alternative ways to use agricultural products and increase their value helps create good jobs and grow the middle class in Canada.”

Since 2014 RRC has been ramping up its culinary research with new partnerships with industry and support from federal and provincial governments and that has led to many new innovations with local producers.

“Partnerships help identify new and sometimes unexpected opportunities,” said Manitoba Agriculture Minister Ralph Eichler. “Our government is proud to help support this project, which has the potential to create new value-added opportunities while creating new, delicious foods.  This project reflects the innovative spirit shared by so many Manitobans.”

The college research chefs provided guests with soup, popcorn and pastries seasoned with pale malt miso from Farmery and dark malt miso from Torque, and explained the science behind the process during the tasting.

Spent grains are a by-product of the brewing industry and generally used as animal feed. Finding value-added uses for spent grains could help create commercial opportunities to bring new products to market – especially as the microbrewery industry continues to thrive.

“It was a good fit for us to partner with Red River College and utilize their culinary expertise to explore what could be done with our spent grains. We’re all about adding value to the ingredients we grow and use in our beer and that includes what happens to the by-products,” said Farmery owner Lawrence Warwaruk. “The more government, local community groups, educational facilities, and private companies are able to coordinate their energies on these types of projects, the better we can all add value to our overall economy.”

“Sourcing relationships with food and beer is a logical complement for us,” said John Heim, president, Torque Brewing. “Partnering with local projects and organizations like RRC and the Province is also very important.  We are excited to be a part of this initiative and we’re looking forward to building a long-lasting partnership to discover more ways to create value-added opportunities to integrate food and beer.”

Red River College launched Culinary Research and Innovation in 2014. The program is increasing its activities as a result of a recent $2.3 million five-year grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). The spent grain miso project also received support from 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.