SIAL Canada Inspires Innovation

Surrounded by a sea of olive oil and quinoa at this year’s SIAL Canada show in Toronto, I unwrapped these interesting finds to inspire your next product innovation.

Soursop, a.k.a. guanábana and graviola, is a tropical fruit found in the Caribbean, Latin America and Southeast Asia. With a creamy texture and notes of strawberry, pineapple and sour citrus, soursop is ideal for making smoothies, ice cream and beverages. It’s available as a puree and pulp, canned or frozen. and

It’s time for a new snack! Baru Baron brings us wild dry roasted baru seeds from Brazil. These tree nuts are an excellent source of protein, vitamin E, magnesium, zinc and iron. Applications include snack bars, nut butters and baked goods.

Add this colourful sea vegetable to salads, pasta and vegan dishes. Hana Tsunomata™ dehydrated seaweed is cultivated by Acadian Seaplants in Nova Scotia. When rehydrated 10 g expands to 1 cup in just 8 minutes. It adds colour and texture and is an excellent source of iron, magnesium and fibre.

Gourmet Lobster Spread and Surf Clams from LA Renaissance des Îles are sustainably harvested by the fishermen of the Magdalen Islands (Îles de la madeleine), an archipelago with a unique culture in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

A sea cucumber is no veggie; it’s a marine animal. Once rehydrated by soaking for two days and boiling, Rosalyn Dried Atlantic Sea Cucumbers have a meaty texture and mild taste, similar to calamari rings. They are wild caught in Atlantic Canada for export to Asian markets.

Gosh! Naturally Free-From™ from the UK is a remarkably flavourful range of burgers, bakes and bites made from an array of vegetables, legumes and quinoa. They were developed for food allergy sufferers and vegan enthusiasts.

Eager South American exhibitors proudly showcased native agri-foods and quinoa was everywhere. Inagrofa SCC from Ecuador introduced Mamma® Quinoa, an extruded quinoa snack and cereal. The crunchy nuggets are lightly sweetened, with a nutty taste. They are naturally gluten-free and a source of fibre, protein and essential vitamins and minerals.

With cereal sales seriously in decline, Quaker UK launched Oat & Fruit Breakfast To Go in a portable pouch. The blend of oats, yogurt, quinoa and wheat and rice bran, is sweetened with fruit juice and puree.

As a packaged foods consultant, Birgit Blain helps brands that struggle to maintain listings. Her experience includes 17 years with Loblaw and President’s Choice®. Contact her at or learn more at

© Birgit Blain

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