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.

Craig Richardson Institute of Food Processing Technology

Contact us

Cambridge Campus
850 Fountain Street South,
Cambridge Ontario N3H 0A8
Phone: 519-748-5220
Email: ifpt@conestogac.on.ca

Keith Müller
Chair
kmuller@conestogac.on.ca
519-748-5220, ext. 5231

Our facilities

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!

Bakery line

Students work with different types of baked products including buns and rolls (dough type) and muffins and brownies (batter type) in this line. The equipment in this line portions, bakes, cools and packages the product.

Fresh vegetables line

With a capacity of approximately 400Kg/hr, the equipment in this line is set up to peel, wash, slice and package a variety of fresh vegetables, under normal or modified atmosphere.

Beverage line

The fully automated beverage preparation, processing and bottling line (running at 60 bottles/min) provides students with numerous opportunities for troubleshooting and identifying bottlenecks.

With a strong emphasis on teamwork, students not only learn to operate state-of-the-art equipment, but also understand how their individual roles and tasks influence the final output of the line at the end of the day.

Cleaning and sanitation equipment

The pilot plant also gives students hands-on training on foaming and gelling techniques for effective cleaning and sanitation procedures. It also includes a full CIP system.

Bakery Line
Bakery line
Fresh Vegetables Line
Fresh Vegetables line
Beverage Line
Beverage line
Food Testing Laboratory
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.

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

The first two objectives involved benchmarking against Food Valley (the Netherlands, www.foodvalley.nl) and was achieved by conducting a comprehensive survey with a) Ontario food processors, b) Canadian food processing service providers, c) food processors members of Food Valley, and d) food processing service providers also members of Food Valley. The survey centered on the innovation practices in the individual companies and was completed by an executive with direct stewardship over innovation processes.

The results of the survey, were introduced at an interactive workshop held November 29, 2012, at the Maple Leaf ThinkFOOD! Centre. The workshop was delivered by Food Valley executives representing industry, academia and government. The goal of the workshop was to encourage the local industry to more actively adopt innovation as part of their strategic planning. By sharing their own stories and answering questions in an open forum, we believe that Food Valley experts were able to engage attendees, who will in turn, become catalysts for innovation within their organizations.

The final report for the project is available in English and French. Please email ifpt@conestogac.on.ca to request a copy of the report.

Full video of the workshop is available below in 12 separate segments.

 

Awards

There are many scholarships, bursaries, and entrance awards available to students studying at the IFPT at Conestoga. Visit the awards directory to learn more.