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Welcome to the Craig Richardson Institute of Food Processing Technology

Unlike any facility in Canada, the Institute of Food Processing Technology (IFPT) meets the needs of the food and beverage manufacturing industry by providing education, training, research and technical expertise.

We develop multi-skilled graduates with leadership and plant-floor expertise, and partner with the food and beverage manufacturing industry to achieve technological solutions.

IFPT logo

Our Facilities

Pilot Plant

Bakery Line shot
Bakery Line

In collaboration with professional food plant design engineers, the Pilot Plant was designed to meet the food processing industry's need for increased competitiveness. The Pilot Plant is the result of a $5M investment providing students the opportunity to operate industry equipment on three complete production lines: bakery, fresh vegetables and beverage.

We understand the importance teamwork has on an operation's productivity and know that it is important for our students to have the same level of understanding. At the same time, we know that all plant floor personnel, regardless of their specific task, play a very important role in a plant's operation. Our goal is to provide the industry with graduates that have a strong understanding of these different roles.

We achieve this goal through delivering comprehensive, well-rounded programs to our students. The Pilot Plant provides the opportunity to learn about key manufacturing factors while training to operate the equipment of our bakery, fresh vegetables and beverage production lines. As part of our program, we address key topics such as line efficiency, productivity, QA/QC, preventative maintenance, lean manufacturing, and waste management. Our graduates come out of school ready to take on challenging jobs and to act as catalysts for productivity in the food processing industry!

Read about the Pilot Plant [+]


Food Testing Laboratory

Food Lab
Food Testing Laboratory

Experiential learning is the most important component of the education process we conduct at Conestoga's IFPT, and the Food Testing Laboratory was designed and built with this specific scope in mind.

The types of activities we conduct in the Food Testing Laboratory at the IFPT mirror the general tasks that any food processing company with internal quality control processes would conduct. Students learn about physical properties of ingredients and raw materials, such as pH, viscosity, texture and more.

Chemical properties of ingredients, raw materials and finished food products can also be evaluated in the IFPT Food Testing Laboratory, including sugar and salt concentration analysis, moisture determination and various titration techniques.


Programs & Courses

IFPT Programs
Program Name Delivery Campus
Food Processing Advanced Sanitation Practices Part-time
Food Processing Operations Part-time
Food Processing Supervisor Part-time
Food Processing Technician (Co-op) Full-time Cambridge
Food Processing Techniques Full-time Cambridge
Food Safety and Quality Assurance - Food Processing Full-time
Food Technology Equipment Operation and Maintenance Part-time
Operations Leadership in Food Manufacturing Full-time Cambridge
Packaging Engineering Technician Full-time Cambridge
Packaging Engineering Technician (Fast Track) Full-time Cambridge
Pre-apprenticeship Food Processing/Millwright for Women Full-time Cambridge
Process Operator - Food Manufacturing (Apprenticeship) Full-time
Structural Packaging Design and Management Full-time
Sustainable Local Food Part-time
Course # Courses Length (Hours) Distance Status
FOOD1320 Continuous Quality Improvement in the Food Processing Industry

Description: Through successful completion of this course the apprentice will be able to apply training in Statistical Process Control, Lean and TPM concepts, six sigma concepts and problem solving techniques to make continuous improvements to the process. The student will also develop an awareness of equipment failure analysis techniques, energy management techniques and learn how to use effective operator preventive maintenance.
Hours: 60
Credits: 4

60 Yes Details
FOOD1335 Effective Cleaning & Sanitation - Theory and Applications

Description: This course will give students in-depth knowledge of effective Cleaning and Sanitation in the food processing industry. Specific methods of treatment and elimination, main causes of environmental cleanliness failure, specific agents and the science base for choosing the most effective ways to perform and evaluate cleanliness, will be presented. Methods of detection and correction will be explored from a theoretical and practical point of view. Students will perform testing of cleaning agents, practice cleaning and sanitation tasks and assess the efficacy of cleaning and sanitation procedures by on-site visual inspections, microbiological and ATP testing, on actual food manufacturing lines. Students will create a Master Cleaning Schedule and SSOP's.
Hours: 18
Credits: 1

18   Details
FOOD1075 Food Processing Basics

Description: This course will give students an introduction to the Food and Beverage Processing Industry, and also cover principles of food science and food composition and basic processing methods. Students will be introduced to food processing equipment.
Hours: 15
Credits: 1

15 Yes Details
FOOD1310 Food Safety Basics

Description: The Food Safety course is designed to provide the student with general knowledge of food safety including food safety hazards, good manufacturing practices and food safety systems. The course also provides a food safety perspective on important operational topics such as cleaning and sanitation, allergens, equipment maintenance and calibration and others.
Hours: 30
Credits: 2

30 Yes Details
FOOD1120 Food Safety Level 1 - On-Line

Description: The Food Safety course is designed to provide the student with general knowledge of food safety including food safety hazards, good manufacturing practices and food safety systems, as well as basic knowledge of food plant security and of the impact of food manufacturing on the environment. The course covers food safety, food plant security and food manufacturing - environmental management. The content is based on the MTCU schedule of training for a Process Operator - Food Manufacturing apprenticeship program.
Hours: 90
Credits: 6

90 Yes Details
OHS1120 Occupational Health and Safety for the Food Processing Industry - Condensed

Description: This course will address the need identified in the food processing industry for increased awareness to hazardous situations and the resulting reduction of workplace injuries and accidents. Upon completion of this course, students will have an understanding of the obligations, rights and responsibilities of employees, supervisors/managers and employers and how to effect change in their future workplaces toward Health and Safety regulatory compliance. The students will navigate the legislative framework specific to health and safety in the food manufacturing industry and incorporate techniques to address hazard recognition and potential for accidents. Students will be able to respond to and record the legal, economical, technical, and personal dimensions associated with hazard awareness in the food processing industry.
Hours: 15
Credits: 1

15 Yes Details

Innovation Project

As part of an ever increasing need by industry to remain competitive in the global market, the Institute of Food Processing Technology (IFPT) at Conestoga conducted a project in 2012 themed Advancing Innovation in the Food Processing Industry, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Main project objectives included:

  1. Understanding the innovation mechanisms currently in place in the industry
  2. Developing a gap analysis that would identify what is needed (e.g. technical resources, funding) to encourage industry (in Ontario) to adopt an increased level of innovation
  3. Deliver a workshop to industry, government and academia, that will explain how a system of open innovation works and how a model food cluster (Food Valley) encourages such a system

Read about the Innovation Project [+]


There are many scholarships, bursaries, and entrance awards available to students studying at the IFPT at Conestoga. Visit the School of Engineering & Information Technology awards directory to learn more.


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Contact Us

Cambridge Campus
850 Fountain Street South,
Cambridge Ontario N3H 0A8
Phone: 519-748-5220

Luis Garcia
519-748-5220 ext. 2475


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