Protective and therapeutic use of resistant starch (MSPrebiotic) in a pig model of experimental colitis

Many alternate treatment options are now used to alleviate chronic intestinal inflammation and microbial imbalance including dietary supplements of prebiotics and probiotics. Resistant starch (RS) represents a range of indigestible dietary carbohydrates passing into the lower gut, without being digested/absorbed in the upper digestive tract. It is speculated that RS can reduce signs and symptoms of intestinal inflammation through modification of the gut microbial communities, regulation of local inflammatory cytokines, and its effects on mucosal barrier system.

BC Pulp and Paper Bioproducts Alliance: Upgrading black liquor lignin through fractionation and chemical modification

Lignin represents the largest reservoir of natural aromatic compounds available on earth. It is a potential substitute for a range of chemicals currently derived from petroleum, but product development and identification of market opportunities remain challenging. The objective of the research is to utilize industrial softwood kraft lignins from the black liquor of British Columbia mills, process them into uniform lignin streams with known performance specifications by fractionation and chemical modification.

Automation and Evaluation of Rapid Deforestation Assessments of Small Farms

The worlds’ forests are being cleared at an alarming rate to make room for agriculture. Consequently, agricultural companies and those that finance them are increasingly required to demonstrate that the farms that they do business with were not recently deforested. Current methods for assessing deforestation involve using experts to analyze satellite images but this process can be cost prohibitive for small farms. The objective of this project is to develop and assess the accuracy of a new method that completely automates this process without the need for experts.

Assessing Volatile Organic Compounds as a Measure of Crop Health

Plants produce a blend of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) quickly in response to various growing conditions and plant stressors. These compounds are released well before there are any obvious signs of stress, such as wilting or loss of chlorophyll. Blueberry and other crops with thicker leaves, are slow to show obvious signs of stress and therefore are more prone to reduced crop quality and quantity than other field crops.

Innovation and characterization of plant-based ingredients for the emerging protein markets

Research within this project will focus on the innovation and characterization of plant-based ingredients arising from pulses and cereals for the protein ingredient market. The global protein ingredient market was valued at $31.8 billion in 2016 and is expected to rise to $46.4 billion by 2022 with the greatest growth occurring in the plant protein ingredient sector. Consumers are looking towards alternative proteins, other than from animals (e.g., whey/casein from milk; ovalalbumin from eggs) and soy, because of allergen concerns and the rising costs of dairy proteins.

Modelling successional dynamics in the boreal mixedwoods

A thorough understanding of the effects of the natural disturbances on successional dynamics is essential when developing silvicultural approaches. If applied correctly, this understanding should ensure the sustainable management of the wood resources, as well as the conservation of the biological attributes and ecological functions of forest ecosystems. With respect to the spatial and temporal complexity of the successional dynamics of forest ecosystems, simulation models are powerful tools as they are able to address many factors simultaneously.

Assessment and Genetics of Stress Resilience in Dairy Cattle

Dairy cattle are exposed to stressors that negatively impact health, fertility, welfare and production. Health and climate experts predict that exposure to stressors (i.e. pathogens and extreme temperature events) will increase as climate conditions continue to destabilize. Due to increased antimicrobial resistance, there is urgent need to explore alternative strategies to promote animal health; it is anticipated that genetic selection for increased stress resilience will yield healthier animals that will live longer and be more productive.

Landscape-scale reconstruction of the spatio-temporal attributes and biophysical drivers of mixed-severity fire regimes in the Alberta Foothills

Ecosystem-based management (EBM) presumes that sustainability is a function of how well we understand ecosystem function and ecological dynamics. This includes understanding relationships among climate, disturbance, vegetation patterns, and ecological services. Recent research on the historical ecology of montane forests in western Canada has challenged the long-standing notion that stand-replacing fires characterized the landscape. Instead, a mixed-severity regime (MSFR) existed in portions of the montane forest.

Photometry- and Radiometry-based Precision Agriculture

Labor cost and availability are identified as the biggest challenges facing Canadian agriculture. The DOT Technology Corporation, as part of the SeedMaster, is to create an autonomous power system that acts as a primary locomotion unit for carrying a multitude of farm implements used for seeding, fertilizing, and tilling. This simple autonomous power will enable farmers to employ a number of farm functions through a shared, smaller, and economical locomotion base, called DOT.

Optimization of astaxanthin production in large-scale cultivation of microalgae by utilizing industrial CO2 emissions

Haematococcus pluvialis is a green microalga that concentrates the compound astaxanthin, a commercial product with nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, aquaculture, and food applications.