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Human-grade canary seed now available


January 6, 2022
By Top Crop Manager

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With de-hulled canary seed becoming available to food processors and consumers, the canary Seed Development Commission of Saskatchewan (CSDCS) has launched a new consumer-facing website to provide nutritional information and promote the suppliers.

Canary seed for human use is being branded with its Spanish name, alpiste, and the website is www.alpistecanada.ca.

“Although the commission obtained human food approval in both Canada and the U.S. for glabrous (hairless) de-hulled canary seed back in early 2016, market development has been hampered by the lack of a consistent supply,” explains CSDCS chair Darren Yungmann, a canary seed producer from St. Gregor, Sask.

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Properly de-hulling canary seed takes specialized equipment. Brennan and Cara Wiens together with Tim and Jeannine James have been able to supply alpiste for the past year. Their de-hulling operation is located at Wiens Seed Farm near Herschel, Sask.

InfraReady Products of Saskatoon is able to supply alpiste flour and meal, both raw and pre-cooked. In addition, Above Food/Purely Canada Foods is close to having a packaged alpiste product available and is looking at alpiste as an ingredient in other food products.

“At www.alpistecanada.ca, the suppliers are listed with their contact information and we’ll happily list other suppliers that come on-stream,” notes CSDCS executive director Kevin Hursh. “The human food market for canary seed is still in its infancy, but having companies interested and product available is a big step.”

“The website has been in development for quite some time,” says CSDCS general manager Adele Buettner. “It offers health and nutritional information, culinary applications, cooking methods and recipes.”

The website launch has been timed to support the availability of product. The surge in demand for plant proteins bodes well for alpiste demand in the years ahead.

Canary seed producers and interested observers attending the virtual CSDCS annual meeting and information session on Monday, Jan. 10, will hear more about the new alpiste website. Registration for this meeting and all the subsequent Saskatchewan crop meetings is available by logging onto www.saskcrops.com.


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