About Us

Agri-Food Discovery Place

Agri-Food Discovery Place (AFDP) is located on the University of Alberta’s south campus in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.  In operation since 2008, this is a unique facility, the very first in North America serving not only industry clients but the University of Alberta academic staff and Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development.

The intent of AFDP is to build on applied research to bring it through commercialization to the marketplace.  Our mandate is to link academic leadership with industry partners, employing our pilot plant scale-up and processing capabilities.

AFDP can draw on the research expertise resident within the University of Alberta’s Food Science and Bio Resource Technology group, Department of Chemical & Materials Engineering, and Alberta Agriculture & Rural Development to assist industrial partners.

This world-class bio-product processing facility is a unique asset within Alberta's research environment, and is dedicated to:

  • Applied research activities in the areas of food safety, ag-industrial technologies, functional food, and natural health products, and
  • Facilitating commercializable opportunities through initial stages of the value chain

Home of the  Level II Meat Safety and Processing Research Unit (MSPRU) and Fermentation Laboratory and Crop Utilization & Enhanced Materials Research Unit (CUEMRU)

Meat Safety and Processing Research Unit

The MSPRU is a containment Level 2 meat processing facility allowing for the processing of meat with foodborne pathogens throughout the processing chain including retail and consumer handling.  The MSPRU provides the meat & food processing industry, equipment manufacturers, ingredient & processing aid suppliers, academia, and government with the ability to carry out food safety & quality validation projects in a state-of-the-art facility that simulates an industrial setting.  The MSPRU can be used for the development and application of novel technologies, as either pathogen intervention strategies or to improve the quality and storage life of meat products.  Your one-stop shop for industry driven applied and contract research focussing on shelf-life extension, application of novel technologies & ingredients, process development, process & product validation, and troubleshooting safety & quality issues.

Fermentation Laboratory

The Fermentation Laboratory at AFDP provides contract manufacturing and contract research to help you develop and scale up your process.  We operate a Biosafety Level 2, BioProcessing Facility and have the equipment and expertise for non-regulated work in areas such as crop protection, seed enhancement and biofuels.


Crop Utilization & Enhanced Materials Research Unit

The CUEMRU will allow the pre-pilot scale processing of agri-food and agri-industrial products and the development of novel technologies. Utilization of crop components will be maximized through separation and conversion processes, as well as applications development, targeting bioresource technologies moving  proof of concept from benchtop research to applied research and onto commercialization.

Research Collaborators

  • Alberta Agriculture, Food and Rural Development
  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
  • Alberta Research Council
  • Olds College Center for Innovation
  • Alberta Economic Development Environment Canada
  • University of Alberta (Faculties of Science, Engineering and Medicine)
  • University of Saskatchewan
  • University of Guelph
  • Laval University
  • Memorial University of Newfoundland
  • Czech Institute of Chemical Technology

Achievements Include

  • 153 Refereed journal articles in the past 5 years
  • $7.6 million in research funding in the past 5 years
  • 140 invited presentations at national and international meetings
  • 650 articles listed in the Science Citation Index, which received 7334 citations
  • 13 patents issued/submitted
  • Two spin-off companies established
  • Trained 190 PhD/MSc/MEng/MAg students and Post Doctorate Fellow's who are in positions around the globe
    Recipient of numerous highly prestigious national/international awards