Ont. processor backed for turkey bacon packing

A southwestern Ontario poultry processor has picked up a federal loan for a new high-pressure packaging system for its turkey bacon products.

Golden Valley Farms will get a repayable contribution of over $500,000 from the federal AgriProcessing Initiative to buy and install a hyperbaric packaging system at its plant at Arthur, about 40 km northwest of Guelph.

Processing turkey bacon through this system is meant to enhance food safety, improve productivity and increase the products’ shelf life, the government said in a release Monday.

“This is very important not only for Golden Valley but our industry as a whole,” company general manager Keith Hehn said in the government’s release. “It brings new technology to our industry that will enhance food safety as well as plant efficiency.”

The project is also expected to result in the creation of new jobs, the government said.

The AgriProcessing Initiative, budgeted in 2009 for $50 million over five years from the AgriFlexibility Fund, requires funded projects to be completed by the program’s end date, March 31, 2014.

Golden Valley is a joint venture for Waterloo, Ont. processor Piller Sausages and Delicatessen with Winnipeg agrifood firm Parrish and Heimbecker.

The company last summer picked up about $3.7 million in provincial funding toward the plant’s $12 million high-pressure processing line, which uses cold water and high pressures (in some processes, up to 40 tonnes per square inch) to inactivate microbes and maintain product freshness and shelf life.

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