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Ontario-grown crop earns international accolades

Quinta Quinoa was named a Top 10 product during the biannual SIAL Canada food tradeshow.
Jamie Draves, president of Quinta Quinoa, who hails from Cochrane, appeared on the Dragons' Den TV show in 2015 seeking investors for his quinoa product.

Quinta Quinoa, produced from an Ontario-grown crop, is earning international accolades on the food tradeshow circuit.

The quinoa — an edible seed used in salad and rice dishes and prized for its high nutritional value — is produced by Katan Kitchens, which was conceived by Jamie Draves, who hails originally from Cochrane.

The product was recently named one of the Top 10 Innovative Products, out of 55 products, during the SIAL Canada food tradeshow in Toronto in May.

It was additionally selected as the International Startup of the Year during the VitaFoods Europe Conference, a tradeshow featuring functional foods, supplements and healthy nutrition products.

“The agriculture industry is so different in Europe than in North America so it was a great experience to travel to Geneva and share our progress toward identifying sustainable plant-based protein sources,” Draves said in a release.

“Quinoa is not as well known in Europe as it is in Canada, so the panel was interested to hear about how we have naturally grown quinoa in Ontario with the high nutritional profile boasted by Quinta Quinoa.”

Draves’ Quinoa production has surpassed 2,000 pounds per acre, and continues to increase annual yields.

Several acres of land are dedicated to growing Quinta Quinoa in Northern Ontario each year of production. Future plans include expanding production and opening up a production facility in Northern Ontario.

In 2015, Draves appeared on the TV show Dragons' Den, during which he negotiated a deal with investor Vikram Vij for a stake in his company.