USask researcher creates 15,000 nutritious soup packets for food banks

Click to play video: 'Saskatchewan developing affordable, protein rich, soup mix for food banks'
Saskatchewan developing affordable, protein rich, soup mix for food banks
Saskatchewan Agriculture Ministry Food Research chair Dr. Michael Nickerson said on Monday the ministry is looking to partner with national food banks to distribute soup packets to families across Canada with food security in mind over profit. – Dec 18, 2023

A new soup mix has been developed by researchers at the University of Saskatchewan to help tackle food insecurity across the province.

USask researcher Michael Nickerson partnered with the Food Centre to create an easy-to-make soup using crops grown in Saskatchewan.

His research group created soup packets that can be mixed into water and feed four to five individuals each. They are packed with protein and nutrients from lentils and oats.

“Pulses and cereals represent significant nutritional powerhouses, particularly as it relates to providing protein to support growth and nutrition,” Nickerson said. “Our research into blending and enhancing the nutritional profiles of lentils and oats provided an opportunity to collaborate and develop a nutritious meal option to support families in Saskatchewan.”

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The soup includes all the micronutrients children need to maintain growth and nutrition. The group also created a lipid-based supplement that could be prescribed by a community health clinic for children six months and older.

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The original project had a team of investigators researching the protein quality of pulse and cereal crops and how they could be processed into food aid projects for use in Ethiopia.

According to Food Banks Canada, the increasing cost of food and housing has contributed to the rise of food bank usage across Canada.

The Regina Food Bank states that at least one in five children are food insecure.

Fifteen thousand soup packets have been produced at the Food Centre and will be delivered to the Regina Food Bank and the Saskatoon Food Bank and Learning Centre.

“The Food Centre is pleased to partner with the University of Saskatchewan and GIFS on this initiative to provide a healthy food option for patrons of the Regina Food Bank and the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre,” Saskatchewan Food Industry Development Centre president Mehmet Tulbek said.

“In collaboration with Dr. Nickerson, this dry soup mix was developed at the Food Centre to meet the daily nutritional needs of families and is easy to prepare.”

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