LONGUEUIL, QC, Feb. 17, 2014 /CNW Telbec/ - Agropur Cooperative and Professor Sylvain Moineau of Université Laval recently received the Synergy Award for Innovation in the Large Companies category. The prestigious Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) award was presented at the "Celebrating Canada's Top Natural Sciences and Engineering Researchers" ceremony, held in Ottawa at the Governor General's residence, Rideau Hall. Every year, the Synergy Awards recognize examples of collaboration that stand as models of effective partnership between industry and academia.
Sylvain Moineau is a world-renowned expert on the biology of bacteriophages (or phages), viruses that infect and destroy bacteria. His expertise, combined with that of the Agropur team consisting of Maryse Lamoureux, Ph.D., Technical Director at the Fine Cheese Business Unit, and Manon Duquenne, Ph.D., R&D Officer, has been applied to conduct a basic and applied research program on cheese making, lactic bacteria and their phages. The 17-year partnership has been aimed at improving cheese quality and consistency and increasing the productivity of cheese-making plants. Prof. Moineau has received a total of six NSERC grants for his work in partnership with Agropur. The funding has supported, among other things, the training of some 30 students and the publication of more than 50 scientific articles.
The partnership has also led to the development of an advanced research program aimed at preventing the appearance of new phages and preserving the quality and typicality of Agropur cheddar cheeses. The researchers have successfully selected bacterial cultures to achieve greater control over the milk fermentation process, increased productivity and performance, and lower production costs, while improving the quality of the final product.
Agropur Cooperative has one of the largest private R&D centres in the North American dairy industry (40,000 square feet). It is entirely dedicated to developing new products and processes and conducting applied research. The research program is complemented by basic research projects carried out in collaboration with Quebec, Canadian and U.S. universities.
For the full list of NSERC top researchers, visit http://www.nserc-crsng.gc.ca/Media-Media/PrizeWinner-GagnantsPrix_eng.asp
Founded in 1938, Agropur is an important player in the North American dairy industry. With sales of more than $3.8 billion, the Cooperative is a source of pride for its 3,348 dairy producer owners and 6,300 employees. Agropur processes more than 3.3 billion litres of milk per year in its 31 plants across North America and boasts an impressive line of products that includes such prestigious brands as Natrel, Québon, OKA, iögo and Olympic (joint ventures with Ultima Foods), Farmers, Agropur Signature cheese, Central Dairies, Agropur Grand Cheddar, Sealtest and Island Farms.
Image with caption: "Michel Pouliot, Ph. D, Vice-President, Research and development, Agropur Cooperative, received the prize from His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. (CNW Group/Agropur)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20140217_C4705_PHOTO_EN_36803.jpg
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