Glenmore Farms: Adding Value to Wild Blueberries

The Perennia Innovation Centre team was approached by Glenmore Farms to develop a wild blueberry purée. The farm had been contacted to supply the purée for Alexander Keith’s historic waterfront brewery in Halifax where it would be incorporated into a newly developed and released Peated Blueberry Ale. Glenmore Farms also wanted to determine shelf stability of blueberry purée stored at room temperature as a potential ingredient for various food and beverage manufacturers. A shelf life study would determine if the product would have a durable shelf life for an extended period of time when stored under ambient conditions.

Action plan:
Due to the short timeline required to produce a large amount of product, the client was immediately interested in taking advantage of the rentable Pilot Plant food production space at the Innovation Centre. The client worked closely with Innovation Centre team to perfect and validate the processing parameters to ensure a safe and quality product was produced.

Through a shelf-life study, and product and process improvements, Perennia Innovation Centre staff determined shelf stability of blueberry purée for room temperature and refrigerated storage conditions for Glenmore Farms.

This beer was created at Alexander Keith’s on-site small batch brewery and according to head brew master Stefan Gagliardi brought “together iconic ingredients like peat and blueberries, representing Scotland and Nova Scotia, in honour of Mr. Keith’s heritage”. The beer was featured at Alexander Keith’s 222nd birthday celebration on the Halifax waterfront in October 2017.

For shelf stability,  current work has proven the puréed product had a shelf life of up to three months at room temperature.  Work continues with another 3 months of storage life to be determined.  If no measurable difference in product quality is observed, the client can produce a more economical product which does not require refrigerated storage and has a myriad of potential ingredient markets open to it.